2008, Looking Back

January 8, 2009

35 projects completed, mostly small, especially towards the end of the year. I really like small projects, I think: socks, bookmarks, dishtowels, bags… My favorite FO made for me has to be the Valentine Socks (variegated pink with brown heels and toes). The bags, cloths, and bookmarks are the most handy, though. They get daily use, as do the cat toys and their bed, both of which really need replacement, though. Cats are not gentle with their toys or sleepy places!

I’ve been thinking maybe with the new year, it’s time to toss my queue and start over. It’s a mess. A 15 page mess. That’s 450ish projects! Yikes. And, well, lots of fun to be had.

I’m excited to see what comes off the needles in 2009.


Started 7/14, finished 8/7
Pattern: Spring Forward by Linda Welch
Yarn: Latte colorway of Elann Sock It to Me 4 Ply
Needles: KP Harmony dpns, 2.5
Cuff: 5.5 inches

Notes: This yarn sucks.

Started 7/2, finished 8/15
Pattern: Basic Sock Recipe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarns: Valentine colorway of Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennet and Latte colorway of Elann Sock It to Me 4 Ply
Needles: KP Harmony dpns, 2.5
Cuff: 2 inches

New Skills: Eye of Partridge heel

Notes: The feet fit perfect. The cuff is too short and too small around. Still trying for that perfect sock….

Hoping to get one (maybe 2, but doubt it) more pair done before the end of SoS! I had hoped to do one colorwork and one toe up but I think I’m just going to do a pair of Brigid (maybe, I don’t have any sport weight, so…) and one more basic sock, then go back to the tank top languishing on the needles.

Yes, I’m indecisive.

Started 6/21, finished 7/2
Pattern: Nutkin by Beth Lapensee
Yarn: Castagna colorway of Colinette Jitterbug
Needles: KP Harmony dpns, 2.5mm (1.5 US)
Cuff: 2.25 inches

New Skills: Short row heel/toe, 3-needle bind off, hemmed cuff.

Notes: These will end up being a gift since they just fit my foot weird. Also, were I to knit these again, I’d totally do heel flap and a “normal” toe, even if it meant losing the 3-needle bind off embellishment, I’d go up to a size 2 needle, and I’d keep the purls together to avoid where my purls aren’t tight enough and look silly. And here I thought I was “beyond” ladders. Hmpf.

For those who don’t read my other blog (I say that as if anyone is reading this one, either :D), I am back in school. Again. Whee! And omg, I’m old. It is taking so much time to keep up with these two classes. I have to read everything twice and sometimes I feel like I’m still in over my head.

Anyway, between that and the new sewing machine, my knitting time has been shrinking. Even though I’ve only sewn two things (sock knitting bags):

But I did manage to start my tank!

I ended up tinking like 1382 stitches because I missed a yarn over, but I’m back to just after where I realized I was missing a stitch. If I could just find the time to get through the rest of this lace pattern the rest should zoom by.

Oh, and I did end up making a little bag with some scrap yarn.

Basically, I needed something to work on while reading textbooks, so I started just knitting garter stitch, and from there I decided to make another market bag, only stockinette in the round on giganto needles vs. the openwork patterns of the patterns I’d knit before. I made it just long enough that I thought I’d be able to finish the handles, yet still have room for dinner supplies, but I ran out of yarn before the end… so I hid it with a bow.

What I ended up doing:

CO 45 on size 5 circs in dishcloth cotton, work back and forth in garter for 25 rows.

Then to switch to knitting in the round for the sides — pick up 12 stitches on one side, 45 along the back, and 12 more to meet back in the beginning. Knit all the way around.

Then, switch to size 13 needles, do a round of k2tog all the way around. From there just knit (stockinette in the round) until the bag is as long as you want it. It’s stretchy, but not nearly as stretchy as a lace pattern, so don’t make it uber short expecting it to grow.

From there, switch to size 3 dpns, do an applied i-cord across 22 stitches, continuing around for the length of handles you want, and then kitchener together (I picked up this way of handles from Elisa’s Nest Tote, which is way cooler, but not something I could do while reading).

For the bow I used this tutorial, using the same dpns as the i-cord, and six stitches across, rather than 12, working 6 rows in stockinette before the decreases, and doing k2tog and ssks for decreasing rather than binding off. So, yeah:

Row 1: sl1, k5
Row 2: s1, p5
Row 3: s1, k1, (yo, k1)
Row 4-10: stockinette
Row 11: ssk, k to last 2 stitches, k2tog
Row 12: p across
Repeat 11 & 12 until 2 sts remain on RS
WS: s1, k1
RS: k2tog, cut yarn, pull through, and weave in.

I used the beginning tail of each half of the bow to cinch the bottom of the bow and then attach it to the other half and the bag.

Just big enough to hold pasta, sauce, and salad:

I guess I’m bag obsessed right now. Maybe it’s only having three purses in 10 years finally catching up to me.

WIPs, FOs, & Plans.

May 7, 2008

It was inadvertently brought to my attention last night that I haven’t really been blogging about my WIPs or FOs. Partly this is because I’m scatterbrained lately, and partly that I haven’t been working on anything worth yapping about. Last month I did a couple Christmas presents, and have the rest somewhat sorted out in my head, though most of them require yarn I don’t have. Other than that I made snuggles. I’m still making snuggles. I’m on the 5th, and I think the last I’ll do for a little bit, since I’m out of charity yarn after this one. I’m finding that the Cat Mat (Rav link) pattern by Kris Percival from Speed Knitting is a really nice snuggle pattern. It’s interesting to look at, quick, requires enough attention that it doesn’t lead to deadly boredom, but not so distracting that I can’t knit it while reading.

For a non-secret FO, I finished the million-triangle kitty crescent. Which the cats actually use, amazingly. At first Vree would just lay next to it, but after a week I’ve seen both snuggled up sleeping away on it. Of course, the camera is never handy at the time, so maybe this falls under “screenshot or it didn’t happen.” Either way, it completely emptied my scrap bags — both the “for stuffing” bag and the “maybe big enough for something itty” ball bag. I also chopped up the horrid Lion Homespun I’ve had up on Ravelry for trade since I’ve been there and used that to complete the stuffing. All the yarn scraps are wrapped up in one of Shawn’s old, stained t-shirts so the little yarn bits don’t escape.

This past week, though, I’ve mostly been knitting away at grocery bags. I’ve knit two different patterns so far, and have several left to try, before I pick out the elements I prefer.

Also on the needles right now are my Wicked Spirogyra for the WoW Knitters KAL. I picked up the yarn (Cascade Sassy Stripes, which so far is really nice to work with, if not as mindblowingly pretty as handpainted stuff) for these at Sip ‘N Knit in Maitland after seeing Wicked. Everything about them is about friendship.

And there’s Shawn’s (Easter – snort) socks that I’m only working on when I’m out, which isn’t often enough to make any great progress. I’m finally to the heel flap of the first one. I bet it’ll be until Summer of Socks starts that I really settle in and finish them.

So that’s 3 things on the needles (4 if you count the Pi that is still in need-yarn limbo), one that I’ll finish today or tomorrow (the snuggle), and two that have specific times dedicated to working on them. Next thing up is finally, finally starting the Ribs and Lace Tank (Rav link) with my KP Shine Worsted, hopefully to be finished in time, and come out well enough, to wear it to the Stitch ‘N Pitch.

Maybe I’ll even remember to blog about it.

For now I’m going to go find a skein of sock yarn to buy with our incentive check.

Just one.

I swear.

(Wish me luck.)

Knitting & Giving

April 7, 2008

I wound up all my “learn to knit” acrylic into double stranded balls. Well, not all of it, but my two giant balls of RH Supersaver.

I’ve been making snuggles. I’ve got two Bun/Kitten ones done (14×14), including the intarsia experiment.

Now I’m working on grown-up cat size ones (24×24). It’s a nice something-to-do while reading RSS feeds. No thought whatsoever. And fast. And stash reducing. Even though the RHSS isn’t in my Rav stash, those two balls were taking up about a quarter of the space I have for proper stash storage. So, yeah, how much of this is for me, and how much is for the kitties is debatable.

Also, if you’re not into charity knitting, there’s a giving opportunity here. Knitters for Knockers is a group of knitters doing the Komen Race for the Cure (both the running and the fundraising). Plus there’s a raffle, so, chance to get as well as give. Their goal is $5k, and so far they’re nearing the $2k mark.

The Stash Knit Down challenge for the month is to knit up sock stash. I was really excited about it, and swooped through my first pair really quickly.

But I’m working on a sock right now that I’m hating. I don’t know if it’s the yarn, or the color, or the pattern, or that they’re charted, or something else. But normally I get through a pair of socks in a few days to a week. I’m still on the first sock of this pair, not even to the toe, and I started it on the 5th. And they’re footlets. My last pair of footlets took 3 days.

The last socks were wonderful, though. Really fun to knit once I got a hang of the lace repeats, and beautiful. The yarn was perfect. I love them. I wouldn’t mind knitting more.

Pattern: Pumpkin Vine Socks by f. pea
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino

I shortened the leg a bit, afraid they wouldn’t go over my calves. If I knit them again, I’ll probably go smaller needles or smaller size and do the full leg length. They’re a lot stretchier than I expected.

I suppose the plus side of trying to get through a bad pair of socks, is that while stalling, rather than start other projects, I tend to learn stuff.

Like provisional cast on.

And Intarsia.

I always thought I’d do Fair Isle first, but apparently not. Necessity, and all that… I’m using up a bunch of cotton scraps for a snuggle.

I’ve also gotten a lot of kitchen knits done, but no pictures, yet. I’m waiting for the “set” to be finished.

Time to see if I can get to the toe without falling asleep. Hopefully the second sock is less obnoxious, somehow.

Oh, noes!

February 26, 2008

Ravelry appears to be down for me. Sob!

In other news, the apron is done (see below), the knitting bag is drying (more on that later), and the pi still won’t stand up (arrrrrrrrrrrrgh).

I need to cast on new stuff since the only thing actually on my needles right now is the needing-yarn second pi (that may end up being Fuzzle’s if this one continues to refuse to cooperate).

I think the pi is really getting me down. I’m not wanting to cast on anything. I’ve lost my knitterly confidence. Maybe I should get out my yarn and fondle it until the lust overwhelms the dejection.

Valentine’s Day+

February 21, 2008

I spent much of Valentine’s week working on a pair of house socks for Shawn. I’m starting to think Knitpicks’ Onyx Heather is just unphotographable by my camera as an FO. Or it could just be that Shawn is never here in the daytime and our lighting at night is insanely poor. I was hoping to get a better picture before posting. Right. Anyway, socks:

They came out a tiny bit too big, mostly around the ankles, but not uncomfortably so, and I think on soaking they’ll get a bit smaller? They’re standard k2p2 rib, on size 5 & 6 needles with Wool of the Andes. It was my first magic loop project and honestly, I don’t like it for socks at all. I just enjoy double points for some reason. But they’ll keep my love’s feet warm, which was all I really wanted.

In return I got the Lace & Eyelets Harmony Guide. Swatching soon! I think I’m going to make a scarf of Maizy, since using it for socks got such bad reviews on Rav, probably in a stitch pattern from the book. I’ll need some smaller non-dpn needles, maybe. We’ll see how it takes to 5’s, but I have a feeling they’re going to be much to big, even for lace.

I also (maybe) finished the first Pi. I’m hand-felting (apartment dweller + control freak). I did a first felting Tuesday, and left it to dry overnight, but when I got up it was suddenly really obvious to me that it was not felted enough. So I did some more scrubbing/shocking and re-blocked this morning. Could be I think the same when I wake up tomorrow.

I started the second Pi, this time on size 13s and double stranded. It was my first double stranding. And it was going along wonderfully until I ran out of yarn. So, for now it’s all bagged up waiting for more. But I swear I would’ve finished the thing in one afternoon and evening had I not run out. That makes me want to make tons. Especially since it was so much easier just using one needle, magic looping until the circumference was large enough to use the circulars traditionally.

For now, I’m working on the apron when there’s light (it being black and all) and a little felted sock knitting bag in a bright Cascade 220 when there’s not. The Cascade is really nice to work with so far.

And I finally found the pattern to go with my Cherry Tree Hill: Pumpkin Vine Socks. I’ve poured over dozens of patterns, in my queue and not, and wasn’t happy with any of them. Then I came across that one earlier tonight and just went WANT. So I’ll probably cast those on sometime this week.

In (kinda) non-knitting news we put in an offer for a house on Tuesday.

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Heading off

February 12, 2008

Mom’s box is ready to go!

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