Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The pretty, the cute, and the pointy objects

I promised you pretty. Here is the pretty!

This is a scarf knitted from the edging unraveled from a cashmere/silk blend thrift store sweater. The pattern is a basic lily of the valley lace pattern, but I replaced the nupps with the beads. They're sort of a dark jewel-toned rainbow assortment. I love it!

Now, some cute. Remember me writing about Eight Ball the llama? Well, when he was sheared this summer, I brought back the fleece to give to some spinners from the knitting guild. Anna was kind enough to give me a bit of two-ply yarn from my buddy the llama, and so I knit it into a wee sock ornament to give to my grandmother for Christmas. I crocheted a little snowflake and sewed it on to give it a bit more decorative feel. I think it's pretty cute. I hope Grandmother likes it!

Today, I got off work a couple hours early, and I went thrift shopping. I really lucked out at one of the stores. These antique knitting needles were only 49 cents! There are four nine-inch size 17 (1.4 mm, also known to US knitters as 000) needles. I wonder who used to knit with them. Whoever used them must have had super-sturdy hands, because these puppies are SHARP.

Friday, December 05, 2008

For pretty

About two years ago, my grandmother gave me two teapots for my birthday. One was delicately ornamented blue and white bit of hand-painted china. It looked like something that Elizabeth Bennett would have used to pour Mr. Darcy a cup of Earl Grey. Grandmother had taped a note on it that said, "For pretty."

The other was a solid tan and brown teapot. It isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, but somehow it's endearing in its relative plainness. Its note said, "For everyday." And I do use it almost every day.

I've realized that most of my knitting lately has been in the "For everyday" category. I've been knitting to stay warm, especially since until this evening, I had no heat in my car. And in case you were wondering, 26 degrees is COLD. I've been coming home with stiff, numb hands every night, even with gloves. On the plus side, having a cold car gives me an opportunity to wear more of my hand-knits - almost all of them. Simultaneously. On the con side, I haven't been knitting as much "For pretty." So that needed to change. It's blocking right now. Here's a snippet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A polite request

To: The gnomes that live in my room and hide my stuff
From: A frustrated knitter

Dear Sir/Madam/Top Gnome/Whatever:
It has come to my attention that you have apprehended the knitting pattern I was about to start. Normally, this would have been tolerated for a few days. Yes, there are certainly other things I could knit. I understand that the holidays are upon us, and work is especially rushed and stressful. But was that really necessary just when I finally got gauge with my lovely yarn? I respectfully request that you GIVE IT BACK ALREADY.

The human whose room this in fact IS, and don't you forget it!

Postscript, several hours later:
AHA! Thought you were clever, did you, hiding that pattern behind the books? In the future, please limit your scavenging activity to the pile of Red Heart Ickrylic in the far corner of the closet.

The Management.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sweater, revisited

Like I said in my last post, fall is here to stay. (I hope. Now that I've typed that, watch us have an Indian Summer at Thanksgiving.)

Anyways, that meant that last weekend was spent hauling out all the cold-weather clothes, including this one, which you may remember:
It's the Cable-Down Raglan that I knit last year out of Patons Classic Wool. I wore it to work yesterday, and as you can see (maybe), it's held up pretty well. But there's something I didn't like about it. Somehow, it sags in the armpits. I couldn't figure out what the problem was - did I do too many raglan increases for the arms? According to the pattern, I did the right thing. My gauge swatch was right on. It wasn't my favorite thing I'd ever knitted, but I wore it like a mother wears the paper crown her kid made for her, even if it looks a bit like a cross between a brontosaurus and a platter of wilting lettuce. It may be an imperfect sweater, but it's MY imperfect sweater.

Well, when I was pulling it on yesterday, I had an epiphany.

The sweater is TOO BIG.

As in four inches too big.

So I have a sweater that's a size or two too big. Oh well. I'll keep wearing it, because it is MINE, yes preciousssss...but I may re-knit it in a smaller size.

And yes, I know - I should have washed my gauge swatch. I'm horrible about not washing my gauge swatches.

We had a very special visitor to our deer feeder yesterday morning.

It's the White Stag! We haven't been able to tell if this is an albino or a white deer. Whatever he is, he's pretty gorgeous! He practically glows when he's out at the deer feeder, and that's saying something when you think about the red Oklahoma dirt he lives in. We didn't try to catch him to see if he would grant us wishes, though!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A very delayed post

Fall is finally here! Time for some serious knitting!

This is the back of the Estes Vest from IK Fall 08. I'm knitting it from Lamb's Pride Bulky, which is quite a change after knitting socks for a while! It works up quickly into a soft, plushy fabric. I've finished the back and one of the fronts, but I may rip out the front bit. The pattern has pockets in front, and I'm not sure I want to do them, since they'll only be about three inches deep. I really don't mind the idea of ripping out a front of a vest as much as, say, half a sock. I knitted the entire front (I think) while watching a BBC miniseries - Wives and Daughters, which I wholeheartedly recommend! (Think Jane Austen, but with a bit more action and character development.)

This is Zetor, a triangular shawl/scarf knitted in Noro Kureyon Sock, knit on size 6 needles. It was a rather fast knit, as shawls go. The lace pattern is quite easy to memorize once you knit a couple of repeats - I think I did seven? (There is an error in the edging chart, though - knitters, ye be warned.) I ran out of Kureyon at stitch #221 of 279, but thankfully, I had a scrap of recycled wool/silk that matched perfectly - crisis averted! Normally, I'd knit lace from a more solid-colored yarn, but I needed something colorful to go over a grey dress I was going to wear to a wedding.

And speaking of a wedding...it was FANTASTIC. One of my best friends got married in Kansas on November 8. It was a wonderful weekend of watching my dear friend get married to a totally awesome guy who's crazy about her and hanging out with old friends I hadn't seen in ages.

This wedding also marked a first for me - the first time I caught the bouquet! Actually, I didn't so much catch it as pick it up when it landed behind me. However, the heartbreakingly adorable 3-year-old flower girl nabbed my flowers when I set them down to cut the cake. (That's her holding the flowers.) Oh well, she'll enjoy them more than I would.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New camera!

In case you haven't guessed by now, I got a new camera for my birthday! It's a Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, and it takes some pretty fantastic pictures.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A couple of not-so-great things

This looks like a partially good thing (aside from my atrocious colorwork).

Here's the problem.

The other not-so great thing:

Let this be a lesson: bookshelves from Walmart are not to be trusted.

But let's end on a high note, shall we?

This is Odessa, and it's knit from a ball of some mystery angora blend. I like it, but angora just isn't my thing. There were fuzzies all over my nose and eyes and mouth.

Remember that Oklahoma sock yarn that I bought in a misplaced fit of state pride? A refresher - it's PINK.

Not anymore! It's so pretty - a slightly variegated royal blue. I'm really pleased with how well it turned out, and I think it wants to be a lace shawl.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Let's get the ugly out of the way.
This is my shirt after wearing my Ophelia vest, which I knitted from Hobby Lobby's new cotton yarn. "I Love This Cotton" knits up very nicely and is wonderfully soft, but...yeah. This is what it leaves in its wake.

Now, some good. First of all, my first felting project:
I crocheted a circle from the leftover wool from my Cable-Down Raglan (and my cabled headband). A little vigorous swooshing in hot soapy water, and here's what came out.I made this little circle-type object to put my teapot on when I take it up to my room.

And new yarn always counts as a good thing, right?

This is some Louet Gems Fingering that I got through a Ravelry destashing. It's a soft yellow - bright, but not fluorescent.
This is from the same destashing - Actual Size Creations hand-dyed sock yarn. The colorway is named Rorschach (as in Rorschach blot, I guess), but to me, it's fall leaves.
And here's some Ultra Alpaca Light, 433 yards of fingering-weight wool/alpaca/nylon. The color is so much richer in real life - dark, vivid blues and greens. Lace shawl, anyone?
And last (and least!), the bad.

This may not look terribly bad. Sure, it's pooling like crazy, but it's a sock, right?See the problem yet? Into the frog pond it goes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Past the finish line!

Cast on first sock 8-8-08 10:45 AM
Cast off second sock 8-11-08 8:40 PM

I've got 87 yards of yarn left! I probably could have made these knee socks, but I didn't want to risk running out of yarn. As it stands, they're 8" from cuff to beginning of heel flap. These will be my winter snow boot socks.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

Let the games begin!

Or, I Am A Rather Lousy Ravelympian.

3:30 PM: Buy yarn for Ravelympics socks.

Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome in a potluck colorway ("Water" - whatever. I haven't seen much pink, purple, or red water.)

10:30 PM: Realize that I haven't actually signed up for the Ravelympics.

10:31 PM: Sign up for Ravelympics.

10:45 PM: Search through 15630548304819357314 favorited sock patterns in search of The Perfect Ravelympics Sock.

10:50 PM: Decide to try the Flutter-By socks. Commence swatching. (yes, I know, I swatched for a sock.)

11:30 PM: Realize that the sock is a) WAY too big and b) pooling like crazy.

11:45 PM: Realize again that the sock is a) WAY too big and b) pooling like crazy.

11:50 PM: Rip out sock swatch.

Sometime between 6 and 7 AM: turn off both my alarms.)
8:30 AM: Lie in bed, basking in the joy that is Saturday morning.

8:32 AM: Remember that as joyous as Saturday mornings are, this is in fact FRIDAY, and I have to be at work in 28 minutes.

9:30 AM: Get on internet to find The Perfect Ravelympics Sock.

9:31 AM: Read headline story on CNN.com. Have heart attack as it hits me that one of my best friends and her fiancee are in the Republic of Georgia, which is currently being bombed by Russia.

10:01 AM: After several frantic text and Facebook messages, remember the name of the missions agency.

10:02 AM: Call missions agency. They're on the other side of the country and safe, thank God.

10:15 AM: Realize that I still haven't found The Perfect Ravelympics Sock (TPRS from here on out). Open 350483937951793473070 web browser pages of sock patterns.

10:45 AM: Decide and cast on for Charade.

5:05 PM:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Third time's the charm?

At the March 2007 Knit-In, I cast on for a pair of socks. They were my first "pattern" socks. The yarn was Plymouth Sockotta, and the pattern was Conwy, from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. I finished that sock fairly quickly.

I cast on for the second sock yesterday. Yes, this is/was a 17-month case of Second Sock Syndrome. I've knit EIGHT pairs of socks between sock 1 and sock 2.

Here's one of the eight pairs. I finished the Spring Forward socks, and I do love them! They're possibly the best-fitting socks I've knit. I can see this pattern becoming the new Monkeys.

But certain members of the household just want the shoes...Clarks are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, but I don't think I like them quite this much. They aren't quite as dirty as they appear.

Incidentally, I was thinking about getting a new camera, since the "down" button on mine is broken. This is the button used to zoom and select new settings. (Slight problem.) I wanted a camera with a macro setting so I could take up-close pictures of my knitting. Well, last night, I *gasp!* picked up the instruction manual for my camera, and it had a section about using the macro setting. So THAT'S what the little tulip button is for!