Saturday, August 23, 2014

Finished: Madigan & Tea with Jam

And so I have hit my knitting stride again...  Since my last update over a month ago I have managed to finish two sweaters.  This has brought my total yardage for the year to over 9000, or more than 2011 and maybe 2012. 
First, I knit Madigan by Melissa Labarre.  This ended up way better than I expected.  I say that because I used Berroco Comfort, which is a bit underwhelming.  I've wanted to try it on a garment for a while now and this seemed like a good project. I am really happy with the end result and am even more happy that I will be able to throw it in the washer without any extra care. (I will need to take better FO photos eventually...)

I embarked on another Tea with Jam and Bread sweater.  You may recall (probably not) that my last one ended up being a bit too big and I gave it to Phillip.  Well.... this one is no different.  I think I have an issue with having that much (4+ inches) ease.  I will have to reknit this in a size small so that I am not swallowed.  Either way, it fits him well and I didn't have to battle the mental anguish of wanting to knit for myself and not him. 
There were alterations on the stripes that I made in preparation for it being mine... For example, I didn't want stripes across my shoulders.  I didn't want to appear broad.  Ultimately it didn't really matter since it is his now.  Thankfully I didn't do any waist shaping or place any feminine touches.  I am starting to think that this pattern just doesn't want me.

Anyway, I have been knitting dutifully on a Breakwater sweater by Cecily (I can never not mention how much I love her) in Silky Wool.  It is going well but I am anxiously awaiting the start of Elfe in tosh merino light.... must work quicker so that I can start it!

Happy Knitting

Friday, July 4, 2014

2014: Year of the shawl?

Wow, I have been horrible about updating... About knitting, too.  Life has gotten in the way and I feel busy and tired and just can't seem to get myself in a "real" knitting mood.  I feel like this happens every year.  Like I go through this cycle of a month or two where no project seems right.  Eventually it balances out but, it is a waiting game.  

Despite all of that, I have finished a whole lot of projects since we last spoke.  

First was Strathcona by Jane Richmond in Quince and Co Sparrow.  I had never used Sparrow before and to be fair even though I LOVE linen, my only knitting with it had been in the chain variety.  Sparrow is a much improvement on my previous linen projects, and I imagine if I weren't putting myself through a yarn diet that I would want a whole wardrobe made of the stuff.  I ended up gifting this to Sarah, to make up for the previously mentioned Bolt catastrophe. 

Then I moved onto Crocus Shawl by Rose Beck which was made with yarn from Dallas.  I ended up really liking this pattern.  I happen to have an affection for that shape of shawl so this was nice. 

After Crocus, I decided to dip back into my Dallas stash and picked some yarn out for Aichmo by Lisa Mutch.  This was pretty neat and easy garter which gave my mind a break from the lace charts of my previous projects.  The contrasting yarn is Shibui, which you can never go wrong with.

Then Lisa asked if I would be interesting in test knitting again. DUH.  So I hauled some Araucania and Cascade Fingering out for Decibel.  Another garter, stripey shawl to add to my collection.  (P.S. The pattern is now available on Ravelry and I highly recommend it!)  I used slightly smaller needles than those called for so this certainly isn't the biggest thing I've ever knit, but I am happy with it and the color combination will be perfect for fall and winter.

And then because apparently I hadn't had enough, I cast on for Glitz on the Ritz from knitty with some tosh merino light in Jade.  I ordered that yarn a long while ago and had been waiting and dreaming of what to do with it.  Well, I figured it out.  This pattern was a lot more complicated than the others but certainly not an issue to knit. 

Phew, ok... I feel as though my brain isn't allowing me bigger projects at the moment.  I have cast on numerous sweaters only to have them lay around and gather dust until I either work a row or two, or frog it while I cry at my good intentions.  I have a few sweaters planned actually, so hopefully before fall my brain will revert back to its normal self.  Until then I will keep casting on these shawls... small, but challenging.  Can you ever really have enough?  I am starting to wonder...

Happy Knitting! (And 4th!)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finished: Dissent II, Cap Sleeve II & Bolt

I feel like it has been much longer since my last update but I guess it has only been a month.  During the last few weeks I have finished quite a few projects and managed to get myself to Dallas for a Fiber Festival.  If I had updated after my return home I feel like I would have overwhelmed you with many !!!s, so maybe you're lucky I didn't. 

First, let me say that I have the awesomest husband on earth.  Not only did he agree to drive me five hours to go to a yarn festival, but it was on his birthday... Not many men would be willing to do that, and trust me, I am fully aware.  While I was there I spent some much needed time with Rachael, the spinner of my dreams, ran into Stephanie (the Yarn Harlot) in a restroom, met new and wonderful Ravelry friends, and I managed to pick up more yarn than I can knit.
(For my blogs sake, I have only included one or two skeins from each lot that I've recently purchased.)
Madelinetosh had a booth and I somehow showed self-restraint by only buying a few skeins of TML in Glazed Pecan.  I love this color and am dreaming of the perfect project for it. 
I also picked up more Brooks Farm Solo Silk which I previously made Gemini out of.. I love this yarn and two skeins goes a long way.  This is to become a Spring Garden Tee.
A skein of Gritty Knits, fingering weight in a beautiful purple color. Perhaps, an Ishbel for me.
A couple skeins of Solo Act by Yarn Carnival.  One has already been used for a Bolt Shawl but that will be pictured below.  No pattern clues on this blue skein, but I am in love with the saturation.
A sweaters worth of Brooklyn Tweed Loft, because I just can't find it anywhere close and I HAD to have it.. The color is cast iron.  I keep going back and forth on this but I feel like it is destined to become a Framed Pullover by Hannah Fettig or my much obsessed over Hayward by Julie Hoover.  (Thoughts on these two choices are welcome!)
And because I apparently don't have enough yarn, I received two shipments of the Plucky Knitter.  First, a few skeins of Traveler Sport via the Gray's Club.  My (amazing) boss and I sat at our desks refreshing paypal trying to get to these, and they are seriously my favorite gray.  These scream Billowing by Cecily Glowik MacDonald to me...
Two skeins of Plucky Feet via the Blues Club... I have been obsessed with blue lately and these are not helping at all.
OH! And doubly because I don't have enough yarn, I went to a sale at one of the LYS's... I didn't go crazy, but I have decided that Phil and I should probably get an insurance policy on my stash.
Two skeins of Mirasol Ushya that will be Libration by Alicia Plummer.
A sweaters worth of Berroco Comfort because the color reminds me of Quince's Cypress and I really want to see how Comfort holds up in a garment. 
And lastly about 960 yards that Kristi (said amazing boss) and I split of a lot of Silky Wool in a great green-y color.
PHEW! Ok, and onto finished projects.  I had to knit up the handspun Rachael gifted me a while back.  The beautiful red that you saw?  Well, I worked it up into a Cap Sleeve Lattice Top by Purl Bee and boy is it wonderful.  The colors are subtle and the yarn was amazing!
Before that I knit another Dissent Shawl out of Shibui and NBK.  I thought this one was for me.  I even wore it around for a few weeks but then it found a new home with a very, very knit-worthy friend Sarah.  I have no doubt she will love it and take care of it.
And after allowing Sarah to pick out the pattern of her dreams, she settled on Bolt by Veera... Sarah likes it so I will refrain from bad mouthing but I am really unhappy with the end result.  The yarn is Madtosh and Solo Act so it's not the fault of the yarn... I know how to knit and can follow instructions, so maybe it is not my fault.  I do short rows a bit different than the described method in the pattern, but because I didn't want wacky wedges thought I would follow the pattern 100%... My only issue with the finished item? The short rows and the wacky wedges :(  Sarah was gracious enough to pretend like I was being picky or a bit of a perfectionist but I think I am done with Veera's garter/stripes/short row patterns.  (I say this after having knit most if not all of them...and before you ask, I blocked the hell out of that thing twice, and while it helped a tiny bit my stomach still turned when looking at it.) 
And so now you have heard the last month.  It's a lot, huh?  Off I am to pretend we live in Alaska and knit, knit, knit.
Happy Knitting!  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Finished: Light Trails & Song of the Sea

Spring break week afforded me lots of time for knitting.  Over the past few days I have managed to knit over 1000 yards, finishing my Light Trails sweater in madtosh sport and knitting a Song of the Sea cowl in Manos Fino. 
The Light Trails sweater was a bit daunting.  I purchased the pattern and realized that it has 10 pages.  After reading all of the pages I became aware that the designer, Suvi, did an amazing job explaining everything in great detail.  I couldn't ask for more.  Why then did I managed to screw up the cable panel for my sleeve?  Not sure.  Anyway, I finished it and I love it more than I thought.  It is boxy, and just my style and even though I did not alternate skeins, I like the effect of the hand painted yarn.
There are many notes on my Ravelry project page for anyone curious about further details. 
So I decided it was time to use some vacation yarn and beat my queue.  Next, I cast on a Song of the Sea Cowl.  The pattern is well written with charts and written instructions both.  The yarn was well worth the wait.  I love how buttery and easy to use Manos yarns are.  I noticed it had little fuzz balls reminding me of madelinetosh dandelion and that made me like it even more!  The colors throughout the yarn were rich but subtle and perfectly mocking of the sea theme.
In other news, I have developed startitis for the first time this year.  Feeling a furious need to cast on everything and knit instead of sleep.  I have worked through my queue, putting it together in a manic order and paired it all with stash yarn.  I'd say I am in for a lot of knitting this year.  While I dream of many more wooly sweaters, I have cast on another Dissent shawl (this time for me) in glorious NBK and Shibui yarns...
I would love to continue to chat but knitfm and my project are calling me...
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finished: Work + Shelter & Pei

Forgive me, I have been a bad updater.  Things have been a bit hectic and while I can't say I have given up knitting, my completion rate is hitting a low.  Maybe I am exaggerating though, since I have finished two projects (and made significant progress on two others) in the last month.  

My Work + Shelter tee by Holla Knits is complete.  I bought this yarn many moons ago in Arkansas-- on sale.  I was a bit worried as cotton has a bad reputation on hands.  My only complaint is that even with gauge this top turned out huge.  I am starting to wonder if I just don't know what to size I wear.  I wouldn't call it a complete loss as I have been wearing it pretty much non stop since the sun has been out, but I would probably be happier with something two sizes smaller. 

I also managed to finish a Pei cowl in madelinetosh dandelion.... I am not sure I will be able to put together appropriate sentences about how amazing this yarn is.  When I ordered it I was concerned about the linen content.  I thought, well it looks a lot like TML but... Truth is, dandelion has become one of my favorite yarns, if not my favorite.  The colorway used is Opaline, which has a tremendous amount of depth. Is it telling that I am wearing the cowl as I type this?  (I really am.)

I've made progress on a pair of Rye socks for Phillip out of Malabrigo Rios... This will be my first full venture into sock territory.  So far so good. 

AND, the cream of my knitting crop... A few weeks ago I begged Phillip to take me to a fiber fest in another state.  Surprisingly (not really), he immediately agreed because he is a great husband and knows that I will be endlessly entertained.  Anyhow, I realized that I obviously must wear something beautiful and impressive to the event, which is in a few weeks.  I scoured Ravelry (story of my life) and found the Light Trails sweater.  First, it is my style.  Boxy, and a bit awkward.  Naturally, I immediately cast on.  With my madelinetosh sport (!!!).  I had been fighting the feeling to hoard the  yarn and never use it in case madtosh stopped existing, but I cast on.  The pattern is incredibly detailed (something like 10 pages) and there are instructions probably where instructions aren't necessary (I believe this to be a good thing.).  So I am dutifully working the pattern and I finally join in the round.  Whoops, I attached one of my sleeve panels the wrong way. WTF.  I wanted to jump off a bridge for a while but kept on going.  So I will be the mirrored sleeve panel lady at the fiber fest.  At least I will be in a sweater that cost $130, right?

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stash Updates & Finished: Nalu, Waves & Zuzu's Petals

First of all, Julie sent me a beautiful pair of socks and I may have been bitten by the sock bug.  I don't want to take them things off!  Funny enough, I normally hate socks and actually am not even sure I own my own pair.  I tend to pilfer Phillip's when boot time rolls around.  Anyway, I mention this new sock love because on my birthday I needed some stash enhancement.  I went to one of my favorite knitting stores and just grabbed for my life. 

Newly acquired yarn:
Don't judge... I have plans for all of it and have managed to finish a few more projects in the last month. 
For Julie, Zuzu's Petals in madtosh sport, the Dahlia colorway... This knit up quick and I will totally be making another one for me.
A pair of Malu Mitts, also in madtosh sport, this time in Charcoal.
And a Waves shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino... again, allllll mine.  I will have to take decent photographs of that after reblocking (too many yo, k2tog's to be perfect after just one block).
Anyway, I'd say 2014 is off to a great start.  I am off to swatch for a Work & Shelter sweater in cotton picked up many moons ago.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Finished: Rock Island, Stucco & Dissent

I feel a bit swamped at the moment which is why my updates have flat lined.  That doesn't mean I haven't been knitting like a mad woman.  In the last 25 days I have finished three projects bringing my yardage total to over 1000!  First was Rock Island.  I will spare you the horror of the entire story (sorta..)... The project wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought but, I still managed to screw it up enough to not be able to gift it to Julie, which majorly pisses me off.  Sure, it could be worse but I still can't do it... sigh.  If I could stomach another, which I probably could, I would be sure to take a hard, long look at everything prior to bind off.  Funny enough, the worst part of the shawl is the garter stitch, which should have been a walk in the park...

I tested for Lisa Mutch again and made Dissent.  A two color fingering shawl at loose gauge.  This knit up incredibly quickly and has already found a home with Rachael.  I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine and will totally make another before the year is over.  Lisa's patterns are so well written and easy to follow.  The last few designs by her have been welcome as they allow me to get an aethestic that I love without wanting to rip my hair out.  I have no doubt this design will be extremely popular once released next month. 

And lastly, the make up gift for Julie after the Rock Island catastrophe of 2014: Stucco by Rose Beck.  I used a new yarn--Juniper Moon Farm and was very impressed with it.  This shawl was made with worsted weight and while the body is extremely easy to keep track of, the edging is where it makes its mark.  The border is comprised of an eight row repeat where you wrap the yarn around a stitch numerous times.  This does use a massive amount of yarn, but the end result is totally worth it.  I love Rose's patterns and this one is no different.  I just hope Julie will love it and that it won't be too heavy in the Florida heat. 

Happy Knitting!