October 30, 2008

Slow Going

Did you remember to set your clocks back this weekend? And your watches, too?

If you live along the Eastern seaboard, then you know that the the time change happened today. That means the sun is going to be beaming in your windows in the morning and the moon will be up when you leave work in the evening.

Now, about knitting, there are things I want to make, and more WIPs that need my attention than I can shake a stick at, but not being at 100% yet has slowed my roll considerably. I can't seem to shake this cold and when I get on my feet I have to do housework (yuck).

I did manage to finish these socks from Sock Pixie's site, they're called Birds of a Feather:

I used US#1 needles and OnLine Holiday yarn (multicolored superwash merino) and Yarntree alpaca (black yarn). Aren't they lovely? The color quality isn't great, but the blue in the socks is really, really blue.

My son said he doesn't want them, but I did make them for me so it's good to know I'll get to wear them (before he wears them).

That's all I've got to show for the weekend. I did de-stash the balance of the multicolored yarn, got rid of the balance of the black yarn and I expanded my sock wardrobe.

With this cold that's quite a lot.

October 28, 2008

Down, But Not Out

I came home from work on Friday feeling pretty ill, so I took a couple of aspirin and crawled into bed. Not to be melodramatic or anything - but meet my new best friends:

Anyway, I missed my knitting class on Saturday because I slept through the alarm (poor excuse since I'm the knitting teacher) and when I woke up, my darling son had been out and back and his friends were in the living room to greet me at my absolute worst - looking like an advertisement for Halloween (bride of Frankenstein).

Not to be deterred (and not well enough to cook or do laundry), I decided it would be nice to find the pattern I want to use to make my Nana's shawl. I found it! Amazing what you can find when you have no intention of doing anything else but that one thing. The pattern is designed for the Kauni yarn - to show off the colors:

So I worked on it, and all was well until the cough syrup stopped working & I had to blow my nose. I must have blown out the part of my brain that knows math because I somehow lost count on Chart #2, 3rd row. Well shucks - do the eyelets HAVE to line up? Drat. I put the shawl away.

I wasn't out for the count yet. I started working on these socks:

They are lovely - and so easy to make! Thanks Sockpixie! If I wasn't medically impaired, I could have finished the sock, but I realized (halfway through) that I only had enough yarn to make ONE sock. That put me in a downward spiral for sure. I'm going to finish the sock anyway, and the second one will probably be a different color, but I'm going to wear them anyway. Do socks have to be identical? (OK - this might explain why my son won't go out with me in public).

I did finish Sister #2, and she is lovely and downstairs blocking. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a home. I don't care for cotton - and doing the pattern was all I wanted. So,now I have to find her a home. And with the yarn that was left over, I can make 100 more of them. So much for stash busting.

This picture was taken before blocking, but to get a picture of it I'd have to go downstairs, and it's just too chilly to get out of bed. But you get the idea.

Before I go, I had a comment about my stash from SojournKnitting. She wanted me to show all of my shame, I mean stash. I would ... but I can't. Put it this way, remember way back when you first learned to knit well and your dream was to buy lots of yarn so you could make everything? Seems like (half of) my dream came true. I bought all of my yarn - now all I have to do is make everything.

October 20, 2008

Lots of Yarn

I don't have any projects to show today, so I'm going to let you in on my little secret. It's my stash, a constant source of embarrassment. To the knitters of the world who don't buy yarn until they use what they have (and make their intended garment), I tip my knitted hat to you!

My son, who doubles as the Yarn Police, hasn't a clue about how I get the yarn into the house without him seeing it. Truth be told, it's embarrassing.

I usually buy yarn during cold weather so I can tuck it into my sleeves. I have put yarn in my purse, pockets and socks. I brought yarn into the house in boxes marked "Comet" so he thinks it's cleanser. I even resorted to telling him that the mail order yarn is yarn from some family member who sent it to me so I could make them something.

Clearly, I need yarn detox.

I bought this yarn on eBay about a thousand years ago and a it's really nice alpaca (I think):

But it won't go away! I made 3 pairs of socks, including Howard's socks (see my blog Sept. 2008) and these 'footies' for my son:

There's still enough yarn to make 2 more pairs. Oh brother.

Then there's the Kauni yarn I bought to make my Nana's shawl:

Too bad I can't find the pattern I want. Besides, this yarn is rough enough to for dermabrasion.

Then there's this yarn I 'accidentally' bought from who knows where, a cotton lace weight yarn:

It's really pretty, but I really don't like working with cotton. What was I thinking?

To rid myself if this yarn, I've started knitting Sister #2.

This pattern can be found at Yarnloopie's website. Her patterns are so nice.

There's more ... lots more. And no, this fiber didn't come from Rhinebeck. I bought it all in a moment of fiber frenzy.

I'm too ashamed to show all of my stash. If I get rid of these skeins (and fiber), which constitute mountains of yarn, it's going to be a miracle.

Stay tuned ... I just might make something.


Rhinebeck has been at the top of my list of things to do ever since I started spinning. I had dreams of coming home with 100 lbs of fiber, 50 skeins of fabulous yarns barely seen or touched by anyone. I was going to come home and start spinning until I got spin (I mean shin)splints or my hands were spun sore. Oh, I had dreams!

Here's what really happened on Rhinebeck day.

The bus driver got lost finding us, and showed up without a clue about how to get to Dutchess County Fairgrounds. So I raced home to get the mapquest directions (which I should have brought with my anyway. (duh!) Anyway, I get home, get the directions, and race back to my friend's car when I see my neighbors running out of their house towards me and pointing at my car. The drivers window was smashed! Oh my oh no!

What to do? Call the police? Send the bus load of people on and stay home and miss Rhinebeck?

No, I can't let my class down. So I went back to the bus, said a little prayer for a safe journey and off we went.

I had a rock in my stomach, and a stress headache, but I called my brother and he fixed the window by the time I got home. But I didn't know that until I got home. Meanwhile, walking into the main gate, guess who I saw?

Right there in the middle of the picture ... recognize her? That's Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot)!! In the flesh! I, in true idiot fan mode, YELLED out her name like any CRAZY fan. I am going to put myself in the GEEK hall of fame.

Anyway, I also saw sheep, goats and crowds of people.

And I didn't get the 100 lbs. of fiber I dreamed of, nor the fabulous yarn I wanted. In fact, I came home empty handed. It was so crowded, I couldn't even get to the yarn. OK, to be honest, I didn't try real hard - my car had a busted out window.

By the time my brother called to say the window was fixed, it was time to go. All I had time for was a celebration:

You can't say I didn't get anything at Rhinebeck!

October 16, 2008

I See Silk

The Sea Silk scarf is done! I added the fringe and gave it to Irma M. because no one I know loves purple more than her. She's the one who lets me blog via emails all day long at work and has to listen to my tales, so Irma, here's the best of purple I had to offer! Did you see this coming:

Photographs by: Aylin O.

Judging by her surprise, I would say no. Isn't it a beauty?

This yarn is really, really nice and soft. And it knit up like a dream on my bamboo needles. There was absolutely no drama involved with knitting this scarf. It took 3 days to make. Mainly because I sometimes forget how to count. Thanks for listening to all my tales!

I'm also done with Mary's hat. I only wish my camera would take a better picture so you could see how cute the little snowflakes are! (Pay no attention to the young man wearing the hat, he's not there - and he doesn't ever wear girly hats).

The hat is neutral in color and so hopefully wearable with anything (I hope!). Mary - thank you for being such a very good friend and listener! You understand EVERYTHING and it's nice to have someone there that understands as well. It's been years that our paths have been criss-crossing, and no matter how much time goes by, our friendship is like comfortable slippers.

Next on the list is my Nana's shawl. I bought some Kauni because the colors are wonderful (pink/beige/cream) and would make a wonderful shawl. I just had no idea how rough it was. I printed out a couple of patterns, but I'm not convinced that they will show off the yarn to it's advantage and the search continues.

What's going to happen (and I hope it won't) is that I'm going to search until I'm out of time and they I'll be stuck. I'm not trying to go that route!

Lastly, my new computer is on the way. I hope the computer gets here in time for me to download my pictures from Rhinebeck! That's tomorrow - I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight!

October 13, 2008

Three Sisters and a Hat

Did I mention that I was working on one of the 3 Sisters Scarves? I got the pattern for free from Yarnloopie's website and I deliberately puchased Handmaiden Sea Silk so it would look as radiant as hers. In my opinion, it does:

The scarf is still in the blocking stage but I'll get a picture of it in all its glory tomorrow when it's done. This is one of the projects I wanted to work on once I got done with the folks at the office.

Making this scarf really made me happy. Too bad it was over so quick. I followed the pattern to the "T" and if I had been thinking I would have taken Yarnloopie's advice and gone another set. As a result, the scarf is a little shorter than I usually make, but it's so pretty.

My other desire was to make this hat. I nipped the pattern from the Interweave Knits website Knitting Daily. It was one of the free patterns, and the hat is almost a quick knit (it comes with a chart & involves some counting). I started last night and I'm halfway done:

This hat is for Mary, a dear friend. She's always so helpful and such a good friend. I thought it would be nice to make something that would remind her of all the thanks I owe her for all she does, and it's useful too. The yarn is Karabella, a nice soft merino in #1359, a beige color which I thought would be neutral enough to go with whatever coat she wears.

My next project is going to be a pair of socks, or another scarf, I'm not sure yet. So much yarn, so little time!

I'm off to Rhinebeck on Saturday, October 18. The school bus leaves from the library at 8:00a and there's still room on the bus if you don't mind coming to the Bronx to catch it. You can reach me here for details if you're interested.

October 09, 2008

Done...For Real!

This was my last by request project, a hat for Jen. She asked for a black hat, plain with no cuff. At least that's what I understood. So, I made the hat black and I also made it short enough that she could wear it without a cuff. I added the cables because nobody REALLY wants a plain hat, I hope.

I used Karabella, Aurora 8 and size 7 needles because the hat is knit flat and then seamed up the back with the mattress stitch - which minimizes the look of a seam. The pattern is from here and was very quick and easy.

The only problem I ran into was at School Products. Sometimes they have the most delicious colors right there at the front door. I couldn't resist! So, I made a small purchase which - as you may know - is counter to my efforts to de-stash.

And while I sat home today knitting one of the three scares from Yarnloopie's website (which I can't speak of because I'm knitting under the radar this week) - Window Man came and put in two new windows for me and they look GREAT. Yay! I can feel the heat bill going down already!

The only problem with my beautiful new undrafty windows is - he took my curtain rod down on the staircase window and I'm too short to put it back up.

Somehow someone has to get my curtains back up because my neighbors can see my entire second floor. And NO ONE (trust me) wants to see ME in the before my "beat down the ugly" morning routine is done. I scare my own self.

October 07, 2008

Whew ... Done!

Tiffany's scarf is done! I used the Sunsport Shawl pattern, made it a little shorter and thinner, and it is now a scarf about 7" wide and 70" long. I used one skein, and a bit of another of the Misti Alpaca Lace weight yarn in a cream color and size US4 needles. The yarn sheds a bit so I chose a light color (because lint from a cream color yarn on a white shirt is more acceptable that black lint on a white shirt).

All the pinning to block it was what kept me up til the middle of the night last night when I realized something. I dislike pinning as much as I dislike checking gauge, but I tolerate pinning because the finished product is so pretty. So, here's the part here I swear up and down that I will never do the Sunsport Shawl pattern again. (I probably will, but it's going to take an awful lot of madeleine cookies to make me give in.)

Like always, I seek out patterns that are challenging, done on small needles, and would normally take forever to finish. But I - having a compulsive knitters attitude and a perfectionist's bent - have to finish quickly. If it takes too long to make it ends up a WIP, if it goes too fast I have to look for some other mind bending, eye crossing, hand hurting pattern.

My next and last project 'by request' is for an "ordinary" black hat which Jen requested. I don't usually do ordinary so I went up the street to School Products and purchased some Karabella Aurora 8. Now I have to fish through a couple of books, but after the scarf, the hat is going to be a couple of hours and a piece of cake.