Stitches 2014

This weekend is Stitches. I have done pretty much all of my Stitches-ing already though. I registered for a class so I was able to get into the market preview. The main thing I knew I wanted to get was some interchangeable cables. I heard from some friends in my knitting group that the Knitter’s Pride ones fit the Knit Picks tips and are more sturdy. I picked up four sizes of those (the three sizes I have broken in the past year plus one size I never had). I also got Norah Gaughan vol. 13 because I fell in love with Silverberg. It’s designed in a bulky yarn but I will be knitting it in something lighter, probably a DK. We’ll see how much changing I’ll need to do for that. I might also want to knit Merle which is designed in a yarn that I can sub with All Seasons Cotton (and we all know how much I like to do that).

This morning I had my class. It was a class with Betsy Hershberg where we learned to make her Sine Curve Bracelet with a beaded knitting technique that doesn’t involve prestringing the beads. I finished mine during the three-hour class!

ABACUS beaded braceletABACUS beaded bracelet

I really like how it turned out and how it feels on my arm. I have lots of beads from my previous bead weaving and jewelry making hobby. Most of them are probably a bit too small for this but maybe not!

I ran briefly through the marketplace today and fell down and bought this.

silk colorflo

It’s so pretty! Yarn without wool that changes color like that is not very common and I was really pleased to find this one. I am thinking it can become a Dipped Infinity scarf without all the tiny balls of yarn. I have other patterns in mind too but I really think an infinity scarf/cowl is the way to go.

Right before Stitches started I finished something! A friend saw my tapestry cowl and asked if I’d make her one. I told her it took me three years and she said, “no, a plain one.” I found this Knit Picks Comfy Bulky in my stash and it was the right color and super soft. Ta da! Cowl.

cowl for a friend

In skirt news, I ripped back and started the cable section again with larger needles, extra plain rows, and regular instead of combination knitting. It’s working much better. I think I will be glad I went back.

Yay! Knitting! Yarn! Stitches!

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finished scarf

Three years ago, I knit my mother a shawlette for her birthday. I made it from Rowan Summer Tweed and while I was knitting it, I noticed it had an odd smell. Silk sometimes does. I figured that it would go away when I washed and blocked it. It never really did. Mom liked the color and the shawlette but finally admitted that it was hard to wear because the smell was unpleasant.

Last week, I decided to replace that shawl with one knit from some silk yarn that my friend Kate was destashing that I took. I’m not sure what the yarn is but it’s a fairly heavy (aran to bulky) loosely plied silk…with no smell! I chose the scroll lace scarf pattern from Ysolda Teague’s Whimsical Little Knits 2. I didn’t think I’d have it done in a week but, with a little help from the hair dryer, it was washed and blocked this morning and ready for her birthday!

scroll lace scarf

She said she loved it and sent me a modeled shot.

scroll lace scarf

It’s pretty warm, considering how small it is. I hope it keeps her shoulders warm when she needs just that.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Apparently, I’m a giver

It’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo for short) and I will be posting every day, or trying to do so. As Phoebe so aptly put it, my Novembers are well documented.

We’ll start, as I think we usually do, with a finished object round up.

There were teacher gifts…

Clapoktus

French Press Cozy

A gift for my mother-in-law

finished magrathea

A bunny for a new baby

more bunnies are better

Chemo caps (I only knit the top one and a couple others, a lot of those were knit by friends of mine. Thanks, friends!) donated, again, to The Breast Cancer Connection in Palo Alto.

Chemo Caps

A mouse for my son’s friend

Mouse for W

A scarf in UNR colors for a friend whose oldest son is going there

Husky Stripes

And, finally, a couple of things for me…

A Lintilla scarf

Posh Lintilla

And a Dark Side cowl.

ArtFibers Brogue Cowl

Wow, seven out of the last nine projects here were gifts. I think the last two I finished before this were also gifts. I am either selfless or stupid or overrun with knitting. Anything is possible.

I am not making any promises for this year’s NaBloPoMo. Last year I wanted to post a picture every day but I started Project 365 this year and bailed on that, so no promises from me!

Here’s to a postastic November! Hopefully we won’t have to talk about dryer lint at all this year. Again, no promises.

the problem with non-wool

First order of business, I finished something!

finished honey cowl

It’s lovely and I really enjoyed knitting it. I expect to make another one some day.

I also cast on for a Clapo-Ktus. It’s a combination of the Clapotis (of which I have knit 5 or so) and Baktus, which I have not knit but I know lots of people have. I kind of love that someone combined those two patterns and gave it that name. Knitters rock.

The yarn is Handmaiden Sea Silk, which I think is just beautiful. I have a month to finish it. Woot, deadline knitting.

Clapo-ktus

Okay, but really what I came here to post about is fingering weight yarn. There has been a trend in recent years towards using sock yarn for nonsock projects. First there were shawls and now there are sweaters. I am 100% behind the trend towards smaller gauge sweaters but it leaves me with a dilemma. I really want to knit one, in particular: Afterlight. The dilemma comes from the lack of yarns at that weight without wool that won’t break the bank. You can find lots of really lovely fingering weight silk yarns if you don’t mind paying $300 for a sweater. I do mind that though.

If anyone out there in knitting land knows about a good fingering weight nonwool yarn that I could use for sweaters, please tell me!

Stitches 2013!

It’s that time again, the time when a knitter’s heart turns to thoughts of yarn. Okay, a knitter’s heart never strays far from thoughts of yarn but we’re even more obsessive when Stitches comes around. Last year I said that Stitches was going to be my only yarn purchases. It wasn’t, of course, but maybe I can stick to that this year. No promises, though.

That said, let me show you what I did get. First, I ran to the Southern Yarn booth to buy Signature Needles.

signature needles

Her booth was full of nonwool yarns but none of it caught my eye. My rules for shopping were that I could only spend the cash that I brought and that I had to love what I bought. I already love these needles. I got a set of 7s two years ago and sometimes knit projects just because they can be made on those needles. They really are wonderful.

Then I visited the ArtFibers booth and discovered that they now have recycled cotton denim yarn.

art fibers dnmy

This red one had to come home with me. I think I already know what to make with it and it can be made on one of my pairs of new needles, so that’s a plus.

I also succumbed to a skein of RedFish’s new sport weight Silk Floss.

redfish silk floss

This picture doesn’t really do it justice. It’s very pretty. I am looking forward to knitting with it.

I was hoping that A Verb For Keeping Warm would have Paso Dolce chocolates again. They didn’t but they did have tiny Tcho samplers.

chocolate and free lotiony stuff

Love Tcho chocolate. The other item pictured above is my door prize! It’s a travel pack from Bar Maids: a cuticle stick, lip balm, and lotion bar. They are yummy and lanolin-free. I am so pleased that I finally won a prize! Maybe this means it’s my year for the grand prize.

In other news, I finished a cowl. It’s the Abby cowl from KnittySpin a couple of years ago.

2/21/13

I love how light but still warm the silk lace yarn feels. Again, I don’t love the color. It is the other half of the hank of silk I used to make the Annis which I ended up giving to Teenuh. She has hinted that she’d take this off my hands too. First I want to take it back to Stitches and show it to owner of RedFish Dyeworks, since it is her yarn. She said she’d love to see it.

Yes, that does mean I plan to go back to Stitches. I still have some of my cash left and if I want to win the grand prize I have to be there, right?

FO Round-up Addendum

When my friend Kristi read yesterday’s post she pointed out that the blanket bunny I made for her son was missing.

baby zg's bunny

The photo never made it to my Flickr set. That’s what I get for forgetting to cross-check my Ravelry projects list. Another gift I knitted never made it to Flickr or here. Fitted mitts for my friend Christy’s daughter.

Finished Fitted Mitts

I intended to send them to her shortly after her daughter arrived from Colombia and only just sent them, so I was avoiding posting about them. I should have gotten Niels to model them, they are cuter on.

I didn’t look back at previous year’s fo counts yesterday either. In 2011 and 2010 there were 27, in 2009 there were 39, and in 2008 there were 51. This is a disturbing trend! So much for having more time for knitting now that my kids are older and in school all day, huh?

I thwarted the universe’s desire for me to not know how much yarn I have (by borrowing my husband’s computer) and figured out that I have
76867.2 yards of yarn or 43.7 miles. 5000 yards or 3 miles more than last year. Whoops. Maybe I won’t buy yarn this year? But really, maybe I will.

2012 FO Round-up

I only finished 15 17 knitted, crocheted or sewn objects this year, and none of them sweaters!

basket for mom silvery scarf The orange ruffles were for Kristi, apparently binary cable hat Mug and Coffee Carafe Cozy set Annis FInished Memorable Yarn bag Snowball likes it! Yarmulkes for sale! It's Warm baby zg's bunny Finished Fitted Mitts crown for tyrion my jogless jog Finished chemo stripes teacher gifts Gingerbread house ornament

I’m noticing that only two of them are for me (the binary cable hat and the tapestry cowl) and I can’t find one of those two (the hat). Darn. I think that’s because I knit two shawl/scarf things that ended up being for other people (lintilla and annis) even though I thought they were going to be for me. Also, I have several sweaters on the needles for myself but none of them are getting finished.

The last two items pictured never got shown off here. I made bird ornaments for my children’s teachers.

teacher gifts

And a cute (if I must say so myself) gingerbread house ornament for a friend.

Gingerbread house ornament

I really like they way they all turned out. I wish I had set aside more time in December for sewing ornaments. Next year! (Maybe.)

I attempted to calculate the yardage of yarn currently in my stash but my spreadsheet program and Google docs both refused to read the file that Ravelry exports. I’m going to say that’s the universe telling me that I don’t need to know. I’m actually glad because 2012 was supposed to be my year of not buying yarn except at Stitches and I know I didn’t stick to that. Also, I didn’t finish many projects and no sweaters so that means not a lot of yarn leaving. Let’s just agree that I probably have too much yarn and leave it at that.

knitted underpants?

Last night at knitting I was working on the back of my Conic sweater, which was almost done. I spread it out on the table to admire it and Jill wondered what part of the sweater it was, because it doesn’t look like a sweater part normally does.

Conic back

I told her it was the middle of the back and then folded it lengthwise and said, jokingly, that it was a sleeve. Then I folded it the other way and discovered something slightly disturbing.

P1020272

It appears that I am knitting underpants…

I better block it and start picking up the arm stitches quickly!

Also, since I last posted I have finished a bunny buddy.

yarma

(Someone had a baby, so you had to know I’d be knitting one of these.)

And a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend’s newly adopted daughter.

Finished Fitted Mitts

I didn’t think an 11-year-old would want a bunny. I have a second ball of that yarn and I’m very tempted to knit her a hat to go with the mitts. I better hurry because these things are cotton and she lives in Minnesota and it’s probably already too cold for cotton mitts and hats there! Maybe she can wear them inside.

finished, at last!

I know some of you won’t believe this (Jen C, I’m looking at you!) but my double knit, 67 rows of non-repeating colorwork cowl is done. Totally and completely. The top has been kitchenered, the ends tucked inside, and it was even blocked. Amazing. Let’s start with the finished photos for you to ooh and aah over.

Finished Tapestry Cowl
The pink side.

Finished Tapestry Cowl
The brown side (the one I think I will keep facing out.

It's Warm
A quick modeled shot. This thing is warm!

It felt so good to set this project to completed on Ravelry and not have it show up as WIP anymore. To recap, I started this cowl in 2008. I fell in love with the pictures of it on Ravelry and someone else in my knitting group was making it and it seemed like such a good idea. Then I got about 19 rows into the 110 stitches of (as I already said) nonrepeating double knit colorwork and lost my steam. Last November I picked it up again and got down to knitting. A couple of weeks later, the colorwork was finished. I am not sure how long after that all of the knitting was done but it didn’t take long. Then I started doing the kitchener stitch of the 220 stitches at the top… and messed up. Since knitting seems to exacerbate my elbow issues I decided to bring it to knitting night last week as a nonknitting knitting project. I messed up the kitchener again but Veronica showed me how she does it so I could see what I was doing wrong. (Can I just say I haven’t done kitchener stitch in a while? That is my story and I’m sticking to it.)

And now it’s done. Before the mornings are bitter cold. I am really looking forward to wearing it while biking with the kids to school during the cold (for California) winter mornings.

And Jen C and Jen S (who both knit much larger double knit projects than this) you can laugh at me for this taking so long, just do it quietly and where I can’t hear you.

knitters rock

I posted my finished objects for the hat, scarf, and bootie drive I organized with my friend Karen’s yarn a while ago. I am not sure that I finished anything else with her yarn since then, I kind of ran out of steam. The other knitters didn’t, though. Here is the pile we ended up donating to Breast Cancer Connections for their comfort bags.

items made with karen's yarn
I was really impressed with what we pulled together and the woman there told me more than once that it was a really generous donation. Yay, us!

Meanwhile, I have one skein left of Caron One Pound and am going to knit as many 7×9-inch pieces as I can for Warm Up America with stitch patterns from Barbara Walker’s first treasury. So far I have made two.

warm up america square 1: little check
Little Check

warm up america square 2: King Charles Brocade
King Charles Brocade

We’ll see how many pieces I get before I get tired of it. If there is enough yarn left when I’m tired of squares then I hope to knit a friendship shawl for their project as well.

I also finished at hat since I last posted. It’s the binary cable hat.

binary cable hat

I started sweater sleeve from the pattern booklet I got at Stitches.

sweater sleeve  beginnings

And the yarn I ordered with my WEBS free shipping code from Stitches came.

berroco seduce in sea spray

It’s a little less blue and a little more green than in this photo. I think it’s really pretty. It’s going to be a Pucker. I knit a Pucker once before in a different yarn than recommended and it was awful. I’m hoping the right yarn will make it work because I think it’s a very cute top. The one that didn’t work I offered up on Facebook and I’ll be giving it to a friend for her daughter’s teacher. My son’s teacher piped up that she’d take one and so I’ll be giving her a different sweater that I knit that didn’t work on me! I just need to weave in the bazillion ends. I can do that, though! I just need to, you know, DO it.