Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mojo Knittin'

I was never a big Mojo Nixon fan (except for the classic "Elvis is Everywhere," of course) but every time I think about my knitting mojo, my brain does a little trick and his name pops into mind.  That is entirely irrelevant, but true. 

What's also true is that I am back in business as far as finishing projects goes.  First, a couple photos of my Traveling Sweater.  These were taken on Thanksgiving by my mother, and I look completely dorky in them.  I chalk that up to all the cooking and tasting I'd done at that point in the day.  Anyway...

Then there's a super-quick project I knit in about three evenings - a Skeleton Key Tam knit in Malabrigo Twist.  This project reminded me how much I enjoy knitting cables, especially ones that can be done without a cable needle.  They provided just enough spice to keep the knitting challenging without keeping me from watching tv.  We recently got HBO so we could watch season three of In Treatment, and we've now become addicted to Boardwalk Empire and Bored to Death as well, so there's been a lot of HBO OnDemand watching going on around here... 
Anyway, it's a very comfy, warm hat, and although it might slouch in an odd way now and then (like in the picture above), I think it'll see a lot of wear this winter.  And I love the color next to the Point the Way scarf I showed you last time, so those two together might just be my super-cold-day accessory uniform.

Then there are my new mittens. 

Oh, these mittens.  I think they're my new favorite knits.  After taking a Fair Isle Tams class at Stitches last year, and the Bohus Stickning class this year, I finally felt ready to tackle a stranded colorwork project, and I was pleasantly surprised how thoroughly do-able I found it.  The pattern was perfectly written (I've been ogling SpillyJane's patterns for years now and I'm sure this will be the first of many I knit!) and the yarn was absolutely delicious.  It's Quince & Co's lovely Chickadee, which is the perfect mix of hearty wooliness and softness, not to mention being milled in the US from American-grown wool, and sold at a wonderfully reasonable price.  I just loved everything about knitting these mittens, and was able to knit one mitten each of the past two weekends.  I have lots of leftovers of the contrasting colors, and I've ordered another skein of the main color, Chanterelle, to knit a stripy hat to match these, although now that I think of it they also sort of tie together the colors of my Point the Way scarf and the Skeleton Key tam.

And so, the details:

pattern: Skeleton Key Slouchie Tam, by Simone Van Iderstine
yarn: Malabrigo Twist, bought from the Loopy Ewe
colorway: Tuareg
yardage: 190

pattern: Isidora, by SpillyJane Knits
yarn: Chickadee from Quince & Co.
colorways: Chanterelle, Moss, River, Honey, and Pomegranate
yardage: 420

2010 so far:
finished objects: 21
yards knit: 7670

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back on track (FOs #17-19)

I have been knitting.  A lot.  Not a day has gone by since my last FO post without at least a row or two completed on one project or another.  But for various reasons, I just didn't manage to finish anything for a (long) while.  All that has changed, though, and I have three items to show for my recent productivity.

First, last weekend I finally kitchenered the toe on sock #2 of my Mad For Plaid socks.  I'm pretty proud of these socks.  The color combination came to me one night last summer when I was at Ocean City.  I can't remember what exactly inspired them - probably a salt water taffy wrapper or something.  But I clearly remember sitting (okay, huddling) on my bottom bunk and ordering yarn from The Loopy Ewe for these.  I used their new-at-the-time Solid Series, a well-priced line of superwash merino sock yarn available in a kabillion colors.  I did as the pattern suggests and swapped colors between the two, so the big stripes are black on sock #1 and white on sock #2, and I have plenty of yarn left over to eventually make another pair with orange and turquoise big stripes with black and white skinny ones, so I'll have four socks of varying degrees of matchy-ness.  But to be honest, I haven't actually woven in all the ends on these yet, and the thought of another whole pair of ends to weave in will take me a little while to warm up to...

Also last weekend I finished up my new favorite scarf, a Point the Way knit in Malabrigo Chunky bought from Eat Sleep Knit.  This was a super-easy pattern to knit, with just enough going on to keep it interesting, and the yarn is just so delicious it was a treat every time I picked it up.  The color (Frank Ochre) makes me think of a delicious curry, which didn't hurt either!  It also ended up providing a perfect practice piece for a new knitting skill I picked up at Stitches East - knitting in both directions!  I took a class taught by Gwen Bortner (who is just a fantastic teacher, and fun to spend a few hours with if you ever get the chance) and although at first it felt like trying to rub my tummy while patting my head while chewing gum while standing on my hands, I kept practicing away on this scarf, knitting right to left then left to right then back again, and I now think I've really got the hang of left-handed knitting.  And of course, the finished product is so squishy and warm and bright, I just want to wear it all the time.  And as the weather continues to cool, I think I'll be doing just that!

Then this past week I managed to finally assemble and finish my Traveling Sweater.  It took me a long, long time to knit, the finishing was challenging to my not-so-great spacial relations abilities, but oh, the finished product is so, so worth it all.  It's easily my favorite sweater I've ever knit, very comfortable, and so stylish.  What a fun project.  I already have half a mind to order more Woobu and start another, but then I take look at my stash of sweater yarn and decide to hold off just a bit longer...  No photos of this sweater yet, as I can't quite work out how to snap a picture of my entire torso with just me and an iPhone handy.  I'll have to get someone to help me out one of these days and report back with the results...

Now that those are done it's on to the (many) other projects I've already got on the needles.  Getting the most knit-time currently are a Skeleton Key Tam in Malabrigo Twist, a pair of Kalajoki socks knit two-at-once (another new skill I picked up at Stitches) out of STR Heavyweight, and swatching for a scarf requested by the Mr - black with a gold vertical stripe and his initials (also in gold) at one end.  Also planning a pair of mittens combining the leftovers from the Point the Way scarf and the Skeleton Key to tie them together as a set.  Chartreuse and dark aqua - yum!

Mad For Plaid Socks
Pattern: here, free from Knitty
Yarn: The Loopy Ewe Solid Series
Colorways: Caribbean, Orange, Black, and Ivory
Yardage: 400

Curry Scarf
Pattern: Point the Way, by Trina Brielle via Knitpicks
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky
Colorway: Frank Ochre
Yardage: 360

Traveling Sweater
Pattern: here, by A. Karen Alfke via BMFA
Yarn: Woobu
Colorway: Manly Yes, But I Like It Too

Yardage: 2300

2010 so far:
Finished objects: 19
Yards knit: 7060

Sunday, October 10, 2010


If I don't finish my Traveling Sweater by the end of October, I will cry.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

potentially good news, potentially bad news

I have to start by saying I was chastised for knitting in a movie tonight.  Very rudely.  Apparently the infinitely quiet sound of my needles clicking had the potential to ruin her viewing experience, so she made me stop during the preview.  Happily, we decided to leave and get our money back because the movie was showing in the horrible, tiny digital screening room and the picture was terrible.  So I left and am now happily knitting away on the couch and watching Midsomer Murders on DVD.  Hmph.  I mean, if she'd asked nicely, I wouldn't have really minded, although I did think it was silly because really, movies are loud.  But she was so stinkin' rude! 

Anyway, the good news is that I'm making loads of progress on my Traveling Sweater now that it's cooled down enough to make that pile of lap-wool delightful instead of oppressive.  I might be a bit unfaithful to it over the next week or so in the hopes of finally finishing up my stripey socks during the month of Socktober.  But I'm nearly done with the big arc of knitting that makes up most of the sweater and then there's just a couple of upper back/sleeve pieces to knit and the daunting assembly process and then I'll have what has the potential to be the coziest sweater in my wardrobe.

The bad news is potentially very, very bad.  I pulled out my improperly-stored and long-ignored WIP the Gooseberry Cardi and there was evidence of moth activity!  Why, oh why, didn't I just stick it all in a ziploc and put it away when it went into hibernation?  Oh, I could just kick myself.  I didn't have the heart to examine it closely just then, so I popped it all into the blasted ziploc at last and put it straight into the freezer.  After a few days when I can be sure everything's all nice and dead, I'll get my nerve up to wash and inspect.  But in my heart I think I know there's going to be damage and the whole thing will go into the trash.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.  Those hateful moths that invaded the Mr's studio and ate up his Oriental rug and then moved downstairs! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nerd Alert

No new knitting to show because it's the beginning of the school year, which means two things.  One: I've been super busy getting the classroom set up, planning curriculum, getting to know new kids and families, and just generally eating, sleeping, and breathing preschool.  Two: I've got my first cold of the year, and it's a whopper.  I had to call in sick yesterday and didn't knit more than a couple of rows on my Traveling Sweater all day long.  Pitiful.

But I did just get a happy little piece of news: I won a skein of yarn hand-dyed by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Tina Newton (of Blue Moon Fiber Arts fame)!  They cooked up a bunch of beautiful yellow and orange colorways, and Tina posted on her blog asking for name suggestions.  I only had a few, and I got them in just under the wire, but she picked one!  And I get the original prototype!  And it's orange, one of my very favorite colors!  So, when you hit the BMFA site in a week or two when the new colors go up, and you see a pretty pretty orange called "Darlin' Clementine," think of me!  (And when you look at that luscious pink/purple number "Truly, Madly, Deeply" cause I named that one in the last contest!)  Me and Tina - same wavelength.  (I should be so lucky as to stumble upon her creative genius wavelength!)

Other knitting news: I'm headed to Stitches East at the end of October for a few classes, and then in January I've signed up for a one-day class taught by the Yarn Harlot herself, the aforementioned Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  Very, very excited for that and for the excuse to take a long weekend trip to NYC with the Mr. just a couple weeks after our 5th anniversary.  I'm already planning where I want to eat, because clearly the point of NYC is food.  Lots and lots and lots of food.  I think a repeat visit to S'mac is in order, as well as a dessert-athon at Rice to Riches...  Plus I read about an all-vegetarian Korean place that sounds good...  Hmm, maybe I'm getting my appetite back!?!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FO 1-6 for the big 6-0

August 29th, 2010 is my Mama's 60th birthday.  I don't think she'd mind me announcing it to the world, because she is almost as proud of herself as I am for being as happy and healthy and vital a 60 year old as the world has seen.  I could write a million words about how inspiring, beautiful, beloved, and heroic my mother is and still not scratch the surface.  She has come through her life's (far too many) challenges with such grace, positivity, and goodness, I aspire to walk in her intrepid footsteps every day.  And I can't speak about her fierce devotion to my well-being without mentioning that she gave me life twice, first when I was born almost 34 years ago, and again five and a half years ago when she gave me most of her liver for my lifesaving transplant.  My own sweet Mama.

And for her birthday, I am sending her (among other things) a cozy neckwarmer that looks like this:
It's just a little something, but I hope it'll feel like a hug on those chilly nights when she's out walking my brother-dog, Grayson.

The info:
Fidget for my Mama
Pattern: Fidget, by Robin Dodge
Yarn: Fiesta Boomerang
Colorway: Madrid
Yardage: 150

2010 so far:
Finished Objects: 16
Yards knit: 4000

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Time has flown (FO# 15)

Wow, I never posted after my last FO!  Possibly because it's a hat, and it's been so darn hot that the thought of a hat hasn't crossed my mind since I bound off the last stitch.  But it exists, and it's hardly fair to ignore the poor thing.
As per usual, it's a crummy PhotoBooth pic, and you can't see how beautiful the yarn is.  It's from Gaslight Dyeworks, one of my favorite indies, and I'd had it in the stash for a while, just waiting for the right kind of project, and I do think I found it in this cozy, lightweight hat for autumn.  This was my beach-knitting project for this year's family vacation to Ocean City, MD.  It was simple enough to knit while watching my nieces play in the surf without paying it a whole lot of attention, and despite the fact that my hyper-sensitivity to the sun kept me from spending as much time on the beach as I'd have liked, I still managed to finish all but the last few rounds by the time I got home.

My other vacation knits remain unfinished.  I knit nearly the whole leg of a Pomatomus sock out of one of my new favorite yarns, Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock, before noticing a dropped stitch a good 2.5" back, and have been so bummed at the thought of frogging it that it's just been sulking on the end table, waiting for a miraculous fix-by-fairies. 

I knit the back of my Concur cardigan, but kind of lost steam on that one, and have put it aside for the moment.  Photos to come of that one when I return to it...

Since I got home I have been doing sporadic work on the Traveling Sweater whenever the weather has been cool enough to allow the lap-full of wool, and on a super-fun project that looks a little something like this:
More to come on that cutie soon...

As summer comes to an end, I am thrilled to look at my stash of wooly scrumptiousness and imagine crisp days and cool evenings spent creating beautiful, useful knits for myself and my loves.  I'm a little worried that I will have less time to knit this coming school year, as I'll be taking on some greater responsibilities at work while also just teaching more hours per week, but that's all positive, so I can't be too upset.  Plus, I've renewed my commitment to practicing yoga, which means a few less knitting hours per week, but more stretching and breathing to make everything else better.  I think I tend to make resolutions like this at the end of summer ("This is the year I'm going to be more organized! Read all my assigned chapters on time!  Finish papers before the middle of the night before they're due!") and now that I'm teaching instead of student-ing, it's no different.  The promise of unused school supplies always sparks my optimism.

Anyway, in the meantime, here's the detailios on the hat:
Ocean City Slouch
Pattern: Pinstripe Slouch Hat by Veronik Avery, from her lovely book Knitting 24/7
Yarn: Gaslight Dyeworks Superwash Fingering
Colorway: Bad Moon Rising
Yardage: around 300?

2010 so far:
FOs: 15

Yards knit: 3850

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Well, look at that.

It's an honor to help keep that head warm. 
That's Little Miss Sadie, born on July 27.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finally FOs 13 and 14!

I'm back, baby!  Not with a bang, but a little gurgle.  I'll take it, though.  Despite knitting my fingers to the nubs lately, I've not finished a blessed thing.  My dang project-promiscuity has been kicking in hard lately, and I flit, I float from project to project, a round here, a pattern repeat there.  Luckily nature has stepped in and handed me a deadline to finish something, albeit a couple tiny, 30-50-yard somethings.

Embarrassingly, I forgot to take a picture of my latest items!  So here's a word picture: two teeny tiny booties in shares of green, pale pink, and bright magenta, with little pops of sky blue here and there, and a little hat to match, with a rolled brim and a little i-cord knotted at that top.  Impossibly tiny.  Pretty darn cute.  They're both for my niece Sadie, who is due any minute now.  I do believe every baby deserves to have something handmade for her (or him) before s/he was even born, and this baby is nearly here, so I had to get on the stick(s) and make with the gifts!  After a failed attempt at a sweater (somehow the back was only a tiny fraction as wide as the sleeves and front were!) I set my sights appropriately low and went for a wee pair of booties and a hat. I'll try to get a picture of them in use if I'm lucky enough to meet her next week at our family vacation in Ocean City, MD.

Now to plan what I'll be knitting while on vacation!

Bootie Specs:
Pattern: Magic Slippers by SockPixie
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight
Colorway: Watermelon Tourmaline
Yardage: Hardly any!  I estimated by weighing these littlebits that they are about 30 yards total.

Hat Specs:
Pattern: Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan
Yarn: same as booties
Yardage: around 50

2010 so far:
FOs: 14
Yards knit: 3550

Monday, July 12, 2010

a reckoning

I can't finish a damn thing.  It is so stinkin' hot here, I can't stand to knit on my Traveling Sweater - too much wool on my lap.  The Daybreak shawl got kind of boring, so I put it down.  I started a baby sweater for my cousin-to-be, and that was going well, but then my mind wandered and I cast on a pair of socks for the Socks That Rawk Ravelry group's knit-along.

Summer is so hard for knitting.  I can't wear anything wool in this heat (and I so prefer knitting with wool), so the incentive to finish something so I can wear it isn't there.  I can't work on a big project because I can't stand to have anything heavy on my lap.  And although I've seen a couple movies lately, I seem to have misplaced my movie-knitting (a big old garter-stitch shawl I started last summer) so that didn't lead to any productivity either. 

But!  I have a vacation coming up in a few weeks, and that means a well-air-conditioned condo for sweater knitting, and beach-time for some little project or another, and airplane and car knitting.  So hopefully the end of July and beginning of August will give me something to show off.

In the meantime, what's on the needles in varying states of neglect:
Traveling Sweater
Daybreak Shawl
February Baby Sweater
Charybdis Socks
and I'm thisclose to casting on for a couple pairs of Mad for Plaid socks from the new Knitty, knit out of the new Loopy Ewe solids series yarn. (I've got a skein each of Sunshine Yellow, Grass, Cerulean, Fuschia, and Smoke)

Friday, June 18, 2010

FO #12

And they're done.  My comfy, cozy, lovely Tesserae socks.  I cast on the first sock on the first day of our cruise to Bermuda at the beginning of the month, and knit pretty much only in the evenings when we relaxed in our cabin, and still managed to finish all but the last couple inches of the second sock by the time we were back in Boston a week later.  I let them languish in my knitting bag a bit after that, but finished them up at work this week over the course of a few naptimes.  And I love them.  I love them because they're comfortable as all-get-out.  I love them because the pattern was easy but interesting to knit, another part of my ongoing love affair with Anne Hanson's gorgeous patterns.  I love them because it's the first time I've knit with The Sanguine Gryphon's Skinny Bugga yarn which is luxurious to say the least.  But most of all, I love them because they will forever remind me of one of the best vacations I've ever taken.

Bermuda was heavenly - perfect weather (temperatures in the low-to-mid 70s), gorgeous scenery, lovely people, water that is warm and perfectly clear down-to-your-toes, sand the likes of which I've never walked upon (soft as powder, foot-caressing, and indeed pink!), and just amazingly welcoming and relaxing.  We had such a nice time exploring and swimming every day.  I even took my first-ever horseback ride (not counting that caped pony ride around the 10-foot ring I took way back in the 70s)!  So now I can look at the turquoise and blues in these socks and think of Bermuda's water and sky, the rusty orange and think of sunsets and horses and wild roosters.  And that makes me very, very happy indeed.

Project info:
Bermuda Beach Socks
Pattern: Tesserae by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga
Coloway: Black Spotted Prominent Caterpiller
Yardage: about 400

2010 so far:
Finished Objects: 12
Yards knit: 3470

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Serious geek-out

Ok, as everyone already knows, I am a big nerd.  This is true in many areas of my life, not the least of which is my knitting. 
1) I signed up for three full days of classes at this year's Stitches East convention, and that's only because I couldn't quite justify taking two days off to attend all four.  I'm taking an all-day class on knitting socks two-at-a-time on two circulars (a technique I have just not wrapped my head around independently), an all-day class on Bohus Stickning, a style of knitting developed in the Depression in Sweden, and two 3-hour classes on sweater design and knitting "backwards," another mysterious concept that intrigues me.  This is a serious treat to myself, because it isn't cheap, but it's so enriching and so much fun, I already know I won't regret a penny of it.

2) As I have mentioned before, my very favorite yarn company is Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  So far I've tried all three Socks That Rock weights and five of their other yarn bases and every single one has been just luscious, and head dyer Tina's color sense is easily the best in the business.  Well a few days ago, Tina asked in a blog post for help naming some new colorways.  I chipped in my tuppence worth, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" and although it wasn't used for the colorway I suggested it for, one of my names is being used for an as-yet-unseen colorway!  I haven't even laid eyes on it, but I already know I'll be ordering a skein because, hello? Something I said struck a chord with THE Tina of BMFA!  I feel like I've touched knitting greatness.  (by parroting a great movie's title, but still.  I'll take what I can get...)

So yeah.  Serious geekery indeed.  As for actual knitting, I'm still kicking it with the Traveling Sweater, which becomes more and more deliciously cozy by the yard.  I started a Daybreak Shawl on my Bermuda cruise and managed to lose the pattern on the very first day, so that's not too far along and hasn't been touched since.  Thank goodness I overpacked the knitting supplies, and had a skein of Skinny Bugga (yum!) and the Tesserae sock pattern.  So those about an inch from finished, and will be posted about just as soon as they're done.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Planning phase...

Well, the Passiflora was a short-lived project.  I knit the first inch or two before realizing I just don't like the yarn.  I mean, it's a perfectly nice yarn for something and someone, but not for this for me.  The color was too grandma-ish, and the gauge was too loose-looking.  I don't know.  Just wasn't cutting the mustard. So I frogged it.  Still want to knit the pattern sometime, but not sure what yarn I'll use when that time comes, and that time is just not now, I'm afraid.

Enter the Traveling Sweater.  Look how cozy and useful! Look how not-summery! (I hate heat, and knitting this makes me think how cozy autumn will be when it gets here.) Look at the brand! It was over before it even began - there was no use resisting the attraction.  I ordered the yarn and the pattern, it arrived, and I cast on.  Love, love, love knitting this.  It's fairly simple, so far, at least, with just enough short rows to keep it interesting.  And the yarn is so luscious with such subtly shifting color (I ordered it in the Manly, Yes But I Like It Too colorway, which is what I believe was used for the sample shown on the pattern, that devoted to the goal of wearing that exact sweater am I) that I just can't put it down.  It's got an interesting construction, too, so I'm excited to put it together at the end.  You knit a big rainbow-shaped piece and two sleeve/back pieces.  Plus, the designer is on Ravelry and taking part in the knit-along on the Socks That Rawk board, and she answers everyone's questions (mine included) super-fast and super-encouragingly.  Not one bad thing to say about this experience.  Except that it isn't autumn yet.  But I can't really hold anyone accountable for that, so I'll try to move on.

The only snag is that I'm leaving for a week-long cruise to Bermuda in a week's time, and I'm not sure a lapful of wool is quite the right accessory for the trip.  So I'm contemplating some lighter-weight projects to take instead.  Sure, the voice of reason might remind me that I've got half a Hedera to knit and 1.8 Bellatrix to go, which would both be perfectly appropriate cruise knits.  But the voice of temptation thinks a Citron shawl might be the thing.  Or a Fernfrost.  Or maybe a Lavalette? There's some Wollmeise whispering to me from the stash bin, as well as a skein of beautiful Tess laceweight that I had completely forgotten about and just accidentally unearthed.  Which voice will be loudest? The suspense is terrible.  I hope it lasts!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

FO #11

Hello, beautiful!  These here are my beloved Slip Jig socks, from the Rockin' Sock Club's May shipment, and they just might be my favorite socks I've ever knit.  How do I love them? Let me count the ways. 

1) The Yarn.  Socks That Rock Mediumweight is so sproingy and delicious to knit with, and it makes such wonderfully squishy socks that are just heaven to wear.  They hug my feet warmly but not overwhelmingly so.

2) The Colorway.  This one was great in the skein - all that pink and green was like a preppy dream, with little shots of sky blue that surprised me everytime it popped up in the knitting.

3) The Designer. Irishgirlieknits, aka Carrie Sullivan, posts on the Ravelry "Socks That Rawk" board and although I don't think I've ever had any personal dealings with her (or did I buy from her destash once? I forget), she is always so positive and friendly, and somehow it felt like "one of us" made the bigtime when her pattern came in the package.  (I do realize I'm delusional if I think she and I run with the same crowd, but that is sort of the beauty of Ravelry - we *are* all a little community, regardless of location or ability or prestige!)

4) The Pattern Itself.  Not only do I love the way it looks, but it was so much fun to knit!  First off, the garter cuff, which was a welcome break to that inch of tedious ribbing that socks usually begin with.  Then those adorable cables!  Like little portholes, first a bunch of them with fun little garter stitch stripes, then down to four, all the way to the toe (almost - the pattern carries them all the way to the end, but I garbled that bit and ended up making a plain toe).  I knit and knit and knit because I loved crossing the cables so much!  I couldn't put them down until I'd crossed just one more.

Happily, we're having a chilly May so far here in Boston, so I should get the chance to wear these beauties a few times before it's too hot.  And I see myself knitting this pattern again before too long.  Irresistible!

The details:
Ravelry Link (this is a new thing, let's see if I can do it right) 
Pattern: Slip Jig, from the March shipment of the 2010 Rockin' Sock Club.  Pattern will be available for sale in March 2011 from the BMFA site.
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight
Colorway: My Wild Irish Girlie, also available in March 2011 from BMFA
Yardage: approx 350

2010 so far:
Finished Objects: 11
Yards knit: 3020

Thursday, May 6, 2010

wanna be starting something

I can't seem to stop starting new projects before finishing the last one.  Here is but a sampling:
1) that blasted Gooseberry Cardi is still a sleeve short of done, though I won't be able to wear it for another 5 months or so, so no hurry, I guess
2) a checkerboardy scarf in gorgeous BMFA woobu that I got a few inches into and abandoned for something or other
3) the second Hedera sock that I knit like 2 rows a week on and should really finish up because there might be a couple wool sock days still to come this spring
4) my beloved second Slip Jig sock that is so much fun to knit but that I put aside to start a sweater and just haven't picked up again even though I have knit through the heel flap and could totally finish up in a day or two of actually working on it. 
5) a Chickadee cowl I cast on just so I'd have something to knit at the movies last weekend when we went to see Greenberg. (And there's a skein of yarn already would that I already want to make another Chickadee out of...)

And now I'm onto the Passiflora from Twist Collective, which is so so so pretty and which I could get a ton of use out of if I finish it soon, especially if I could manage to finish it before I go on my cruise at the rapidly-approaching end of the month.  So I should 100% absolutely be sitting here knitting like crazy on any one of those projects, but instead I just hand washed pretty much every pair of socks I've ever knit for myself, and noticed that my awesome Bellatrixes (Bellatrices?) have a hole worn in the sole, and now I am having to sit on my hands to keep from stash-diving and casting on a new pair. They're so cool looking! And fun to knit! And would look so great in that skein of Tosh Sock I just rediscovered in the back of a drawer!

Pathetic, I know.  In my defense, though, I will say that I've been working nearly double my usual hours for the past three weeks and will be again next week, so my knitting time and brain capacity are minimal these days. 

Just to salvage a little self-esteem out of this mess, here's a pic of that Calorimetry I posted about a little bit ago.  (And yes, my bathroom is kind of depressing looking and the mirror could do with a good cleaning, thank you for noticing!)

Also, and in completely unrelated news, a project that I worked many, many hours on over the past year has come to fruition: my school received NAEYC accreditation with an awesome 98% score today!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ittle bittle fo

This one's so little it's only an fo, not an FO.  But it's an object, and it's finished, so here it is.  Took me more than one evening - more like a little bit of three consecutive evenings, an hour here, a couple rows there.  Bound off and sewed on the button tonight while having a little sit-n-knit at Diesel with Sojo.  (I'm so thrilled that Sarah's started knitting - finally someone to both stitch *and* bitch with!)  No photos because it's nighttime and there's no light and I'm feeling kinda scuzzy and non-photographable anyway.  But there will be photos because this yarn is so pretty it deserves to be seen.

Pattern: Calorimetry
Yarn: Three Irish Girls Springvale Super Merino
Colorway: Carrick (I think)
Yardage: a hundred or so

2010 to date:
FOs: 10
Yards knit: 2670

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It doesn't count, but...

I have two finished socks sitting on the coffee table.  They're the first socks of two different pairs, so there's no new FOs to report, but I'm very happy with both of them.  The first is that Hedera I mentioned last time, and I've got a few inches of its match done, and the second is the March shipment of the always-thrilling Rockin' Sock Club.  I think we're still in secrecy mode on that one for now, but when we're allowed to reveal, I will do so.  It might be the most enjoyable sock pattern I've had the pleasure of knitting, and since it's STR, the yarn is of course delectable.

I have the problem of having a giant stash but only wanting to knit with STR.  I should probably just sell almost everything else, because every time I go looking for what to knit next, I head straight for my STR bins and ignore everything else.  Bad me. 

I've got a summer sweater's worth of non-STR I'm getting ready to cast on with.  Going to do this beauty in the yarn and even the colorway pictured.  It's so pretty in the photos I couldn't think of a single way to improve.  Should probably get started if I want to stand a chance of wearing it on our cruise...

And today I decided I needed a new Calorimetry for days like today when it's beautiful out but breezy.  We walked a few miles along the Charles this afternoon, and even though my body was warm from the exercise, my ears were cold from the breeze!  Maybe I'll whip one of those up tonight while watching tv.  I love one-evening projects - they make me feel like a knitting savant.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FO #9

I'm so behind on photos, it's terrible.  I just need to remember to take them when it's light outside! That said, here's my poorly-lit, night-time photo of finished object #9 of 2010.
It's an Ishbel shawl, knit out of Wollmeise.  Because I've been amassing a little stockpile of Wollmeise but had yet to use any, I decided the first project should take advantage of the generous skein size, so I went for the limit - I knit the large stockinette section and the large lace section.  Of course, after I'd bound off half of the shawl I ran out of yarn, so I had to tink back a few rows and reknit, omitting the last two rows of the pattern.  I think it still looks just fine, though.  I'll block it this weekend, and then I'll know for sure.  The Wollmeise is just so gloriously color-saturated, it was fun to knit, even though it hasn't got as tight a twist as I usually prefer. 

I've also been knitting a pair of Hedera socks, of which one is done, and the other is a couple inches so far.  So I've been knitting, I just haven't been finishing much lately.  Until tonight!

The specs:
Pattern: Ishbel, by the always amazing (and beautiful) Ysolda Teague (see above for pattern link)
Yarn: Wollmeise Twin
Colorway: Neptun
Bought at: The Loopy Ewe, my #1 favorite yarn shop online
Yardage: dang near all 510 yards of it

2010 so far:
Finished Objects: 9
Yards knit: 2570

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FO #8

Another little finished object, but it's finished, so it counts!  I finished up the neckwarmer for Danny just as the warm weather has arrived.  Oops.  But it's soft and handsome and he likes it, and if there's one sure thing about living in Boston, it's that winter will come again, all too soon. 

Haven't got a good photo of this one yet either, so I'll have to post a pic of our matching neckwarmies sometime soon...

Pattern: Darkside Cowl (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, colorway SFO Sky
Yardage: 200-ish

2010 so far:
FOs: 8
Yards knit: 2060

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Experiencing a bit of a work stoppage here at Katy-girl headquarters.  I've been working practically double-time the past couple of weeks, covering another teacher's vacation, writing progress reports, and prepping the school for our NAEYC accreditation visit.  Which is to say that not a lot of knitting has been happening around here.  And what knitting there has been has been only moderately successful.

To wit:
- Knit from the toe to the heel on a sock before deciding I didn't really like the way it looked, so put it aside for later frogging.
- Knit until the skein ran out on the replacement-neck-warmer for Danny, then had to wait until another skein arrived in the mail from Eat Sleep Knit, and now that it's here, I haven't had time to wind it and get going again.
- Rediscovered the Daybreak shawl I had started before teh Ravelympics, but haven't managed to knit another stitch on it.
- Haven't even had the time to go looking for my size 6 DPNs to finish the second sleeve on the Gooseberry Cardi.
- Started a scarf in some luscious BMFA Woobu, knit a couple pattern repeats, and haven't picked it up again in days, although I love the way it's looking, and am preparing to fight Danny for it every cool day this Spring and next Fall and Winter.

The plan: My last double-day is Thursday, and I'm headed to NY to visit my mom and co this weekend, then next weekend is the ladies' crafty weekend getaway in NH, so there is knitting in my future.  Think it'll go like this: finish the neckwarmer, work on the cardi and scarf concurrently, and then bust out a sock or two.  Can't wait!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Teeny, tiny FO

It ain't much, but I did finish a little something over the past week while working 3 extra hours every day and attending a phenomenal weekend-long training.  This little something started out intended to be a neckwarmer for Danny, but partway through I realized it wasn't going to be as loose as the one of mine he likes, so I decided to just bind it off and make it my own.  So now it is my very own super-soft, super-textured neckwarmer/earwarmer.  Only used about half the skein, so I'm going to see how much of a replacement neckwarmer for Danny I can manage to squeak out of the leftovers.  (Photo to come when I don't look like I haven't had a full night's sleep in the past 10 days...)

Finished Object #7: My Squishy Wide Rib Warmy Thing
Pattern: Wide Rib Cowl For Him
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted
Colorway: SFO Sky
Yardage: about 100

FOs: 7
Yards knit: 1860

Monday, February 22, 2010


Check out these medals, y'all!  How ya like me now?



Yes, that's right, I finished my scarf well before the Olympic torch was extinguished!  Hooray!  I just finished it 15 minutes ago, 2/21/10 at 11:41pm.  Ends are woven in, and now it just needs a rinse and some time on the blocking mats to open up the lace, and I'll wear it like a medal.
No finished photos yet because it's dark out and the scarf isn't blocked, but here's a shot from last night, on my improbable model, Frankie.  This cat can get out of a cat collar in no time flat, but she let me wrap a wool scarf around her neck for half an hour while I knit and photographed it?  Cats are so weird.
So, project specs:
Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf, by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight
Colorway: Fall "On Tap"
Yardage: 360 (I knit this skein down to the nubs - maybe a few yards left, but I'd be surprised if it's more than a couple.

And year to date?
FOs: 6
Yards knit: 1760 (exactly 1 mile!)

Up next: a manly neckwarmer for Danny and finishing that Gooseberry Cardi!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Oh Boy!  I finally decided on a project for the Ravelympics! For the non-knitters, this is the Ravelry knitting olympics, in which individuals and teams choose a challenging knit project, cast on during the (real) Olympics opening ceremonies, and knit like heck trying to get it done before the torch goes out at the (real) Olympics closing ceremonies.  I'll be knitting for Team Blue Moon (fans of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, bien sur), and I've decided to knit a Lace Ribbon Scarf out of Socks That Rock lightweight in the gorgeous, autumnal colorway Fall "On Tap".  I bought this yarn at Stitches East last year, and am super excited about using it for the Ravelympics.  I attempted this scarf a few years ago and never ended up finishing it because the yarn I was using was super annoying and splitty.  But I know STR is heavenly, so it should be a fun knit.

I might be a little crazy for thinking I can finish a scarf in time, because the first weekend I'll be in NYC for a little Valentine's weekend getaway, then there's work, then the last weekend I'm going on a "retreat" which is actually a weekend-long training, but goshdarnit, I'm going to try my best, because that's what knitters do!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finished Object #5

(Yes, these photos *are* getting progressively worse. Thanks for noticing...)

Cast on for these cuties as an emergency-knit, when I'd left my other travel-project (the Destroyed Cowl) at work and faced spending time in a waiting room knitless.  The horror!  Decided to knit a heavy-fingering weight yarn on 1's to make some seriously thick and warm socks.  (Can you tell its February in Boston?)

And now I just need to weave in the ends and put them on my feet before tomorrow's snowstorm hits!

Pattern: Didn't use a pattern per se, just cast on 60, alternated rows of k1, p1 ribbing and just plain knitting, worked a heel flap/gusset combo, decreased and kitchenered the toes, and called 'em socks!
Yarn: Socks That Rock Mediumweight, colorway Crazy Lace Agate
Yardage: round 360

Because of the sheer enjoyment I've gotten out of my last few projects knit out of Socks That Rock, I've embarked on a severe culling of the sock yarn stash.  Pretty much anything besides STR, Madeline Tosh, and some assorted others is going up for sale on Ravelry.  Nothing else feels worth knitting in comparison!  It never splits, the twist is gorgeous, it wears like a dream, and the colorways never fail to inspire me.  So, the more I sell, the more I can buy of the good stuff.  Already upgraded a handful of skeins, and couldn't be happier.

Also, because I'm waiting for a new set of DPNs to arrive from KnitPicks, the Goseberry Cardigan is on hold. (Just didn't enjoy knitting the first sleeve on two circular needles.  I'm a DPN gal through and through.)  Going to start a shawl tonight, knit that until Friday when the mass cast-on for the Ravelympics occurs and I start a project-to-be-determined in STR for Team Blue Moon, then get back to my beloved Cardi!

So! Year to date:
FOs: 5
Yards knit: 1400

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Finished Object #4

There's a poorly-lit photo of the Destroyed Cowl I mentioned awhile back.  Took me about three weeks of naptimes at school to finish it - utterly simple stockinette stitch until the very end, when I dropped three stitches at each side, then kitchener-stitched the ends together.  I couldn't be happier with the result.  

The yarn - Sundara Aran Silky Merino, is luscious - incredibly soft, smells divine, and the color is so interesting.  It's mostly a dark, dark purple, with areas that look almost bleached to a pretty, springy pink.  A nice contrast to the almost-punky look of the dropped stitch ladders.  I think this will see a lot of wear - it's so comfy and looks pretty darn cute, too!

So here's the details:
Pattern: Destroyed Cowl by Martha Merzig (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Sundara Aran Silky Merino.  I am so bummed I seem to have lost the tag, so I don't know the colorway name.  Poo.
Yardage: 200 (I knit until I had just enough to seam the ends together, so I used pretty much the entire skein.

Other projects on the needles: I've finished the body and one sleeve of the Gooseberry Cardi,  and a few inches on a sock I'm sort of making up as I go along....

2010 totals:
FOs: 4
Yards knit: 1050

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

still knittin' the pond scum

I'm nearly done with the body of the sweater, then it'll just be the sleeves and the collar.  Still in love with the yarn, but maybe just a wee bit ready to be done with it...  Mainly just because there is so much I want to knit that I just want to start new projects every day.

In the meantime, enjoy a picture of the sweater in progress on Frankie on my lap:

 She seems to find it comfy.

And just because, how cute is this cat??? With the whiskers? And the paw?  C'mon!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cardigan Update

I've knit down past the armpits on my Gooseberry Cardigan.  Loving it so far, though it has been kind of slow going, between work and getting a bit sick this weekend.  But the yarn!  Oh, so soft.  And the color is so deliciously acidic.  So from here it's onward to waist shaping, then sleeves, then collar and buttonhole band. 

Also started up a scarf briefly while waiting for the arrival of needles from Knit Picks for the sweater.  It's the Destroyed Cowl, knit in Sundara Aran Silky Merino.  Only a start, but I figure it'll be a good purse knit when the sweater gets too big to carry around all the time...

So, no new FOs, but I'm working on it.  And happy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

FO #3

I am a knitting machine this year, no?
Latest project completed:
Pattern: Sunday Swing Socks
Yarn: STR Lightweight, colorway Plankton Ooze.
Yardage: 350
(another bad picture, but someday I'll post a good one, I swear.)

Might be a while before my next finished object, though, because I'm about to cast on for a sweater!  The Gooseberry Cardigan from Interweave Knits Weekend, in BMFA BFL Sport, in possibly my favorite color ever, Pond Scum.  Eee!  So excited to make this.

I might also get another sock going for a purse knit for work, etc.  And then next month there's the Ravelympics, and I've joined the BMFA team, so there'll be some sort of project for that.  Possibly some fair isle mittens?

FOs: 3
Yards knit: 850

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finished Object #2

Less than a week into the year and already another FO! Truth be told, I cast this on Dec 31, but hey - I finished it in January, so it goes in this year's tally. This is the year of being productive. There, I've decreed it.

Pattern: Simple Things Shawlette by Mary Heather Cogar
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight, colorway Loch Ness
Yardage: about 350
(Terrible picture until it finishes blocking and I can take a proper one.)

I've got another project in STR lightweight on the needles right now, and I'm wondering why I ever knit with anything else. It's the perfect fingering weight yarn - just the right amount of twist, good yardage, soft as can be, and durable as heck. And that's saying nothing of the colors. Oh, the colors. Must keep all this in mind when I'm tempted to buy other sock yarn...

So the year-to-date totals:
Finished Objects: 2
Yards knit: 500

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Finished Object of 2010

For now, I think this is as good a place as any to keep track of my year's knitting.

FO#1: Claudia Hat for Kevin, made in Tosh Worsted, Fig, which I bought from Eat Sleep Knit, who have a really remarkable selection of Madeline Tosh yarns and pretty much the fastest shipping you can imagine...
Yardage: 150