Sunday, March 7, 2010

Still not done…

I finished the socks, but have really surprised myself by making them too big. I blindly followed the instructions and didn’t consider how long my feet (or other average feet) actually are. Dumb. I am really getting my money’s worth out of this Happy Feet yarn (very nice, BTW). So this morning I will rip back one of the toes and re-do. Shouldn’t take long.

It has been about 35 degrees this past week in Minnesota and I am not surprised to tell you that I saw the first dude wearing shorts. No kidding. This is the time of year when there are people wearing down jackets, boots, hats, and mittens, and others wearing shorts. I don’t know what spring fever looks like in other parts of the country, but this is what it looks like in Minnesota. I am getting a little spring fever myself. We were at our local home improvement store (Menards) and they’ve got landscape blocks for sale in the yard and the indoor garden supplies are also all on display. I anticipate needing a boat load of Miracle Gro – and any other similar products – to bring my rabbit ravaged yard back from the brinks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Been a while...

I finally have a little something to show off....and by a little something, I mean just a little.

Here are the Columbine Socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi. I had to rip back much of the second sock because I did an extra stitch pattern (is that what you call it? the whole fourteen row repeat that creates the columbine lace pattern) on the leg of the sock. I was nearly half finished with the foot. And while it does not normally take long to knit socks, and these needles and yarn are really great, I was very slow with these. I am hoping that the leg is not too wide - I sometimes have a problem with knitting so loosely that even a size 0 creates too large a sock if there isn't sufficient ribbing...I want to give these to a friend who is a big fan of Birkenstocks and fun socks. I'd like to make something for a few of my gal pals this year.

And I can't believe it, but I have a few long suffering projects….these sea mineral mittens have been in the works for well over a year. They are a beautiful stranded pattern from – she creates some really beautiful mitten patterns. You can just see the little orange waste yarn that is holding stitches for the thumbs. That's all that's left.

Needles: Addi 0s
Yarn: Nature Spun Sport in primarily in Bamboo and Nervous Green

And see that lovely blue yarn? That's Berroco Ultra Alpaca - gorgeous, comfy, squishy yarn. I made Dashing Mitts and the Columbia Beret from this and I think I will make a cowl with what's left from the yolk of a lovely sweater from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. Love it.

However, winter's nearly done and I am nearly done with winter. In an effort to keep my spirit up and weight down, I have been doing a cardio kickboxing class 3 x a week for the past 6-7 weeks or so. It's a great mental boost.

And tonight I am watching Harry Potter and working on my sock. The husband went to bed at 8:20 - no kidding. So, I am on my own...blogging, knitting, watching...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Columbine Socks and Minimalist Cardigan

I started knitting the Columbine Socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi. These are knit from Happy Feet on size 0s Addis. This is my first pair of socks with a lace pattern and it is moving along really well. I finished the first sock in a week, and unfortunately have to work for a living and to get back to reality.

The lace pattern, up close...

Minimalist Cardigan
And finally a photo of the Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Knits. This was knit in Andean Silk from Knitpicks, colorway Fedora, on size 7s.

This turned out fairly well - not quite like I expected though. Both the body and sleeves got longer. Good thing it was originally a 3/4 length sleeve or I'd have been ripped the sleeves back by now. I do really like this sweater and might like another one, but I am not doing that much moss stitch again for a LONG time. I don't mind the switching back and forth between knit and purls, but I like more variety. I need to buy some kind of sweater clip to keep the front together too - otherwise, I spend too much time adjusting it all day.

Winter in Minnesota can be very long and get old fast. The days are short, the snow is deep, streets are a mess, and the wind chill below zero. We got going early with the cold weather and snow early this year. So, what to do keep up good mental health this winter? We got a new TV - and have been watching lots of good movies. It seems to be foreign film month at our house. I highly recommend Broken Embraces - with Penelope Cruz and directed by Almodovar. Just watched Coco Before Chanel with Audrey Tatou - also very good. And Female Agents with Sophie Marceau - a WWII movie about French female spies based on a true story. Oh, and White Ribbon - a German film about the strange goings on with children in a small village just before WW1. And The Orphanage - a movie about a woman who returns to live as an adult with her husband and adopted son to the orphanage in which she grew up.

Other than that, we're getting ready to brew beer again, starting back to kickboxing classes tomorrow, reading, and knitting. Pictures soon....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Mittens for Dad

The first sweater I made back in 2005 was a deep purple raglan. It was made in pieces requiring seaming. I was lucky enough to discover Elizabeth Zimmerman's books within the first six months of knitting, but not in time for my first sweater. I knit the sweater back and forth on long straight needles. I didn't know yet the benefit of working on circulars for both flat knitting and knitting in the round. But the sweater turned out beautifully - my seams turned out really wonderfully. I used Vogue Knitting for reference. Constantly. And as a consequence, I don't mind seaming at all. That sweater was made from Lamb's Pride Worsted - and holy cow, is it a warm sweater.

I made these mittens for my dad from Lamb's Pride. It might be the first time I've used it since my first sweater. I don't know why I haven't used it more - it's easy to work with, has a great little bit of fuzziness to it from mohair, and is sooo warm. This is the first project I have made for my dad.

Needles: size 6 Clover bamboo dpns
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted in Charcoal

The are mittens from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves by Robin Melanson. They just need a button for the flip top and they're done. I adjusted the length on these three times. For some reason, I made these very, very long. They needed a lot of shortening. The book is wonderful - great ideas for interesting, yet useful designs, and a smattering of patterns that could easily become stand-bys. Knitting New Mittens and Gloves is a great. I will be adding that to my shopping cart at Knit Picks. Knit picks is currently running their 40% books sale and I think I am going to pick up a few items before the sale ends on November 2. Definitely on the list is Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. I've borrowed that from my library several times and now with its new publication, I can own my own. It is a great reference book, loaded with technique and tips, and enough info to design your own sweater.

I have been thinking of some new ways to occupy myself this winter that aren't working or thinking about working - either at my job or on my house. I'd also like to meet a few people. I've been looking into some book clubs at my area libraries. There are several to choose from - a mystery book club, a knit lit book club, and many that don't have a theme. Second on my potential new activities is a sewing class at Craft Planet, a LYS a few blocks from my house. I am still taking real classes for my grad program, so I don't want to overdo it. That said, I am confident there's more time for fun in a day.

I sold my scooter and bought a sew guitar and amp with some of the proceeds. Oy is loud in here. But fun, so who cares! I am tapping my feet and bobbin' my head.

Gentleman's Plain Winter Socks

Sometimes projects feel like they finish themselves. I wonder if that's because with some persistence, it is inevitable that things will come to an end. Projects seem to be finishing themselves while sitting in my knitting bag. I've recently finished mittens, socks, a sweater, cutting my pile of unfinished projects by over half. Here is another pair of socks. These are the Gentleman's Winter Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

Wool: Sock Ease by Lion Brand
Needles: size 0 Addi circs (magic loop method)

These were originally being made for a gentleman, but he said something about adult men not wearing striped socks. He may have also said something about a cheshire cat. So, I made them to fit a ladies size 8 and they fit perfectly! Adjustments include a sturdy slip stitch heel and that's about it. I've also picked up some Lana Grossa Meilenweit Tweed in a great tweedy brown and some Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet for yes, more socks.

October in Minnesota is really beautiful. I work on the Mississippi River - right on the river. I walk on a foot bridge over the river most days of the year. I also see a wild turkey in the work parking lot nearly every single day. (One day I nearly drive over him, but that's another story) And October is usually beautiful. Walks over my lunch hour make me hanker for apple cider, homemade breads and stews. But this year....

Please take note...there are green leaves and snow in the same picture. The leaves hadn't really begun to change. And then the green leaves froze and dropped to the ground. It going to be a long winter.

Next posting...newly finished mittens for my dad from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves.