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.

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yarmulkes for sale!

Let’s start with apologies: I’m a bad blogger, you know it, I know it, I just don’t do it regularly. Okay, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Now, what have I been knitting? Not a lot, actually. My husband had a gallstone attack on Mother’s day and I spent that evening with him in the ER, knitting away on my blue Etesian sweater while leaning awkwardly in an ER chair. The next day, my elbow started to hurt. Then I did a bunch of data entry for my job and it hurt more. And my forearm hurt. And… it hasn’t totally gone away. A mom at school who is a doctor told me that she thought it was tennis elbow, I’ve had acupuncture three times for it, which has helped, but it still aches and my forearm muscles are still very tight.

It sucks.

(My husband is fine now, though gall bladder-free and on a doctor ordered low fat diet and kind of sad about that.)

So, I took a break from knitting, mostly. I have been crocheting quite a bit, though.

Dave, from Chub Creek, posted on Twitter that someone should make him a coffee carafe and mug cozy, so I did.

Mug and Coffee Carafe Cozy set

Completely by accident, it arrived just before his birthday. He sent me a thank you Chub Creek mug in return.

Chub Creek Mug!

Which is enormous. I use it in the morning to pretend I’m drinking giant mugs of coffee, even though I can’t drink real coffee any more because it makes me insane. (It’s hell getting old.)

Next up in the FO parade: little bag for Brenda Dayne‘s A Memorable Yarn project.

Memorable Yarn bag

I used yarn from Karen’s stash and embroidered a pink K on it since pink was Karen’s favorite color. The Memorable Yarn event that I attended at A Verb for Keeping Warm ended up being held on the anniversary of Karen’s passing, so it was quite appropriate.

Speaking of pink… I finished my impulsively started Annis.

Annis FInished

I was knitting it one evening with my knitting friends and I said I didn’t think I’d ever wear this pink shawl with a beaded edge and my friend Teenuh said that she loved it. Her birthday was coming up so… problem solved! And the shawl has a new home with someone who loves pink and sparkly beads. Perfect.

When I was working on Dave’s cozies my younger son commented that he loved that blue color and would I please make him something with it? When I asked what he’d like he decided on a blankie for his stuffed dog, Snowball.

Snowball likes it!

Stuffed dogs are easy to please. My son liked it too.

Last, but not least, my friend Pam’s son is having his bar mitzvah and at some point earlier in the year she mentioned that she might need help making yarmulkes. I decided that knitting them was a) too hard on my elbow and b) too time consuming. After knitting three I settled into crochet and made eight crocheted yarmulkes (plus the three knitted ones).

Yarmulkes for sale!

I stacked them at knit night and it reminded me of Caps for Sale, a book I loved as a child. I’m still thinking that I need to write Yarmulkes for Sale! I just need an illustrator.

Whew. Are you still with me? Good. I have more pictures. This time of yarn that I bought while visiting my brother and his family in NJ. Did you know that in NJ they don’t charge sales tax for yarn because (like clothing) it is an “essential”? A belief that yarn is essential: I like that in a state.

I got some Berroco Origami on sale for a sweater I’ve been wanting to make for two years.

yarma

And then I got some single skeins of Rowan Cotton Jeans that were also on sale.

yarma

yarma

yarma

I am not sure what I’ll do with those. I thinking maybe some crochet coasters or something similar.

There was also Rowan Calmer in the sale bin.

yarma

yarma

The colors are more different than they look in the pictures. I see hats and mitts in that yarn’s future.

I don’t know if anyone stuck with me through this long, picture-heavy post. Maybe if I posted more often I wouldn’t have so many pictures to share at once. Maybe.

2010 FO Roundup

Happy New Year, everyone! A new year means that it’s time for me to look back and count my projects and yarn used. Yes, I’m weird, but that is what it means to me. Here’s this year’s mosaic of finished object photos.

2010 FO Mosaic

There are only 27 projects in this year’s mosaic. I had 39 in 2009 and 51 in 2008! I am going to attribute my finished object count drop to there being fewer crocheted items, dishcloths and bunnies in each passing year. Also, this year’s count includes three sweaters knit for myself. Three! Then there are two kid sweaters that add up to almost as much yarn as I’d use for a sweater for me.

I went through my projects on Ravelry and added up yarn usage. This year, I used 9,712.5 yards, or about 5.5 miles of yarn. That is only 100 yards less than I used up last year. Somehow, though, my current stash total (from my Ravelry Excel export) is only 23,655.4 yards, or 13.4 miles of yarn. That is 20,000 yards, or just over 11 miles less than last time I posted a number. That was two years ago but when I calculated last year I said that the amount was approximately equal to the amount that came in. I know I bought yarn this year, in sweater quantities, so I don’t now that I’m really down so much. Maybe the Ravelry spreadsheet has changed?

Anyway, enough stash-navel-gazing! Here is my current project instead.

aidez sleeves in progress

It’s Aidez, a new Berroco free pattern. It’s knit in super bulky yarn that I can’t use because of wool content so I’m knitting in Remix instead, because I was given that for my birthday and I’m excited to use it. I think the sweater will look great in it. Since I’m changing the gauge, I’m also changing the construction and am doing a bottom-up, seamless raglan. That’s why I’m knitting the sleeves first: so I can then knit the body and connect them all for the shoulder shaping.

Here’s another shot of the sleeve, with my arm in it, so you can get a better view of the stitch detailing.

close up of stitch pattern

The funny thing is, Juls brought me souvenir yarn from Tahoe because she saw it and thought of me. Guess what it was?

berroco remix

Yes! The same yarn I’m using for my sweater. It really is a nice yarn and the yardage per ball is great. This ball is a chocolatey brown color which didn’t come across in the picture at all. Oops. I’m thinking that it’s destined for a cowl for me.

She also gave me some leftover Summer Tweed.

summer tweed

I’ve been wanting to try this yarn but haven’t ever gotten around to it. I’m thinking this will be a gift scarf because the colors aren’t very me but I’m really looking forward to knitting it! Thanks again, Juls!

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Maybe?

I’m debating whether or not I should participate in NaBloPoMo this year. (That’s National Blog Posting Month.) I probably need to participate in NaNoSweMo since I have a sweater to knit for one of my nieces. (That’s National Sweater Knitting Month. No, I don’t know why it’s not NaSweKniMo.) I enjoyed last years NaBloPoMo because of the post that I wrote that probably would have gone unwritten otherwise. In particular: Day 21: Why Do I Knit?.

I think I’m going to try. I’m calling this post Day 1 and tentatively committing to posting every day in November.

Now, since this is a knitting blog, I should probably talk about knitting. I’ve become a bit of a monogamous knitter. I might have more than one project going at a time but I tend to only work at one at a time. Things get finished faster that way. Right now the project that has been getting my attention is my Slinky Ribs knit out of Rowan Purelife Revive. I modified the bottom because it is supposed to be knit straight down from the ribbed bust in stockinette and I feel like sweaters work better with a little shaping so I was doing increases after the waist. I increased too quickly, though, and had to rip back a bit (after consulting with the BobaKnitters on Thursday). I put the stitches back on smaller needles because it is easier to pick up stitches that way.

You see where this is going, right?

I forgot that they were on the wrong needles and just started knitting. I made it about 8 rows before realizing.

Oops.

Anyway, it’s all better now and I’ve knit past where I started to rip out. The next challenge to overcome will be the sleeves since I think I will only have three balls of yarn for both sleeves. It might end up being a 3/4-length-sleeved garment, or short-sleeved. We’ll see!

an outing to de afstap

I decided that since we had a long day yesterday that I would take today to go by myself to Amsterdam. Erik agreed and off I went. I went to the train station in Haarlem, bought myself a ticket and set off. I thought it was a good sign that my yarn expedition began with a sighting of Dutch sheep, even though I wouldn't be buying any yarn made from them. Also, as you can see, I kind of have a thing about wind turbines. They fascinate me for some reason. Some of these ones were really close to the train track too.

sheep!wind turbineswind turbine

I had written down directions to de Asftap, a yarn store that I had heard was fairly Rowan-centric, and then from de Afstap to de Kinderboekwinkel, a children's bookstore to buy books for a friend as well as for Stefan and Niels. I was afraid that I'd need to whip out the map I brought regularly but it was surprisingly straightforward to get there. I felt like less of a tourist than most of the people I saw! Although I did stop to take some rather touristy pictures.

herengrachtde westerkerk

On my way there I saw a sign that said, "homomonument." I felt a bit like Beavis and Butthead thinking, "heh, they said homo." Then, of course, I found it and it's a lovely peaceful monument to the gays and lesbians killed during World War II.  Shame on me for being so childish! The tip of the triangle in the water, which is the point of a larger triangle made of three – I only got pictures of two of them – points at the Anne Frank house.

homomonumenthomomonumenthomomonument

I had gotten it into my head that de Afstap was this huge Rowan mecca. It did have a lot of Rowan but it wasn't all that big. What I ended up buying will be no surprise to anyone who knows my knitting habits. (Hey, it was about 30% off of the full US price!)

de afstapall seasons cotton

I was walking toward the bookstore when I passed an adorable little shop called The Egg Mercantile. The stuff in their window enticed me, so I went in. They had a lot of lovely stuff, including some melamine dishes on sale that I'm now wishing I had gotten. I did get a gift which they wrapped up in typical Dutch fashion. I love how the Dutch stores wrap gifts. I was surprised to find that the had a small selection of yarn in the back, Manos. Too bad I can't knit with it because that stuff is beautiful. They also have a very cute sheep mobile that I almost bought until I saw that it came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It seemed silly to pay European prices for something made in the US. It was cute, though!

manos in the egg mercantilesheep!i love the way dutch stores wrap things for you

My last shopping stop was de Kinderboekwinkel where I got several books that a friend of mine asked me to find for her son as well as a few lovely books for Stefan and Niels. I was feeling guilty about spending to much on all those books but then Erik's other offered to pay for them as a gift for the boys. Yay for Oma! I don't have a picture of the pile of books, just of the store.

The last stop was to get lunch, a spinach, cheese, bacon and tomato pancake from a cafe on Rozengracht. Yum! It was nice to walk around alone and have some downtime. Yarn and new books are always fun too!

Here I am enjoying my time to myself. Please excuse the messy hair.

me


Oh, and since this post was pretty light on the knitting content, here is a picture of my most recent work in progress: another pair of Woven Ridges socks, this time for my nephew Sven. I decided to use the same pattern he saw me knitting when he was so fascinated by my sock knitting. This time I'm knitting them two at a time so I can hopefully finish them up by Saturday when we are going to see him again, I think for the last time this trip? Wish me luck!

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Rogue sweater captured

Rogue is done! I am very excited. It fits very well, it's not longer in the back, like most sweaters I wear. Also, it's actually fairly warm considering that it's cotton. My mom asked me to make one for her and said that she'd sew in the zipper so I might just do that. Not immediately, though. Thanks to Cookie, I have plenty of All Season Cotton to knit one for her.

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blocking and swatching

Rogue is blocking away peacefully on my dining room table. I am excited by every step of this project. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I think it is turning out so well and I am thrilled to see it coming together. Tomorrow: seaming! After that, a finished object picture (or two) of Rogue and then I promise to stop posting pictures of it.

blocking Roguesoy silk swatch

As you can see, since I can't work on Rogue, I've started something new. I swatched for the cover sweater of the Spring 07 Interweave Knits. I'm using Soy Silk from my ill-fated top-down cardigan. Ugh, what a disaster that was. I'm hoping that the good sweater knitting mojo from Rogue carries over to this sweater. I will definitely leave off the ruffle and make the sleeves longer. The woman at the Interweave booth at Stitches said she thought it would be nice with 3/4 length sleeves when she was showing me the actual sweater. I think she's right. I will also hopefully make the sleeves not poofy, if I can figure out how to do that.

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rogue knitting done

I have finished the knitting portion of my Rogue. I ended up ripping back the 30 rows and fixing the mis-crossed cable. I'm glad I did. It would have made me nuts otherwise. I need to weave in some of the ends (I want to weave all that I can into the seams) and fix the hem on the one sleeve before I block it to seam and sew in the zipper. I may actually be able to take this with me to the mountains next week!

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