Friday, March 30, 2012

Excited

When you're working on a project when is the point of most excitement? Is it the finish of it when you have a completed garment? I'd imagine that's the high point for most people. I've found that when I get to the heel of the second sock is when I get excited. Why? Two reasons. The first is I see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project. Second is because that's when I start perusing my sock books and websites, such as Ravelry & Knitty, for the next project. I usually have a couple of balls of yarn already wound ready to go so I choose one and look for a pattern that I think will go well with the yarn. I really enjoy holding the yarn and giving thought to what it will become. Well we know it will be socks but I have to decide who they'll be for and what project will really show off the good qualities of the yarn. This is as much fun to me as the knitting itself.


Right now I'm working with Tempted Yarn and the line is Good Grrl. It's 100% superwash merino and it's really soft and lovely. The colorway is Echo, an off white variegated color. I got it on Ravelry as a destash which is my favorite way to purchase a yarn I haven't tried before. Buying from someone who is destashing can help out a fellow knitter in need and I can usually get the yarn a few dollars cheaper than if I bought it from the shop directly.


I'm making the V Junkie socks from the Socktopus book again. The last pair I made for my niece, Joyce, who loves hand made socks almost as much as I do. She's so appreciative of what I make her that I really enjoy giving her socks I've made even if I want to keep them for myself. Since I liked hers so much, I've decided to make them for myself. I can't wait till these are done. I've made Joyce several pair of socks and these are her favorite. I think they may be mine too!


I'm still knitting away on my Min Ulla. When I have the house to myself, I get a lot done but when anyone else is home I tend to not work on it because it needs 100% of my attention. I really don't want to screw this up so I'm taking my time and knitting on it when I can.


Tomorrow a bunch of us, who follow each other on Twitter, are getting together for a Twitter knitter meet up! Some of us have met before but we're hoping to have some new people show up. We're going to be meeting at Annie & Company which is where Allyson and I have been going the last few weeks to knit. I can't wait! I hope to have lots of photos and stories to share with you soon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Progress

I've finally completed my socks. Love this pattern. It's the Almondine pattern from Anne Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class book.






The yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Prometheus. It's a gorgeous red and I really like it a lot.

The other day I was working on my Min Ulla and I was kvetching to my husband that I kept losing my place on the chart. Five minutes later this is what I had:




Isn't it brilliant? He threw some pieces of cardboard together and I was off and running. Ok maybe walking quickly. I really can't work on this unless I''m home alone because I'm distracted by the guys but it is coming along. Hopefully I'll have a nice photo to show you soon with a lot more yardage to it.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Revelation

As I've written earlier, I'm working on the Min Ulla scarf.

I've wanted to do color work for a while but was intimidated by it. I've noticed over the last few years since I've begun knitting that something new usually scares me a bit but then I feel the need to at least try.

Double pointed needles were the first hurdle for me. I was so afraid they'd fall off the other end and I'd lose stitches and have to start over. Needless to say that was never a problem and now dpns are my preferred needle.

Next was socks. Socks were the reason I began knitting. I saw a pair of knitted socks on Jen's blog and just fell in love with them. I was determined to learn to knit and eventually knit socks. Within a year that's just what I was doing. Granted, they were a plain vanilla pair of socks but they were socks!

Then it was the kitchener stitch. I remember having a friend read me the instructions, stitch by stitch, to close a pair of socks. Now I just need a little reminder but I always carry my kitchener stitch instructions made by Karatstix on Etsy.

Now color work. I started a pair of Selbu mittens a couple of years ago but I could tell they weren't going to fit. I don't know if it was the pattern or me but, discouraged, I frogged them and put the idea out of my head. Until recently.

I read Rich's blog, Bald Sweater Guy, and he does the most beautiful color work. Then going to Annie & Company and seeing all the Min Ulla scarves, I knew I had to give it a go. And guess what? I'm loving it! With encouragement and guidance from Allyson and my Twitter knitter friends I'm off and running. Linda, who I know through Twitter, suggested I try knitting with both hands. I shook my head thinking she doesn't know how uncoordinated I am but it stuck in my head. I went to YouTube, found a few videos and decided to give it a go. I'm still a big awkward but what a difference! It's going rather quickly and it looks so beautiful. I love the idea of doing the Norwegian patterns, which seem to be mostly in black and white, and using different colors. That hadn't even crossed my mind until I saw it done. Now each time I see a Norwegian pattern, I start thinking of different color combinations. I'd love to find a Norwegian pattern book for accessories but most of them seem to have mostly sweaters. Talk about scary! Sweater knitting may be a fear I'll never face. Then again, never say never!





Thursday, March 15, 2012

Min Ulla

I started my first color work project. Actually I'd attempted color work before but didn't like how it fit after a few hours so I took it down. This, on the other hand, I'm liking very much. I mentioned earlier I'd be doing the Min Ulla scarf and here's what I've got so far.




I made the blue the main color and the antique lace the contrast color. I'm enjoying it very much and I know it will fit no matter what. I've realized I can only put in a bit of time per day into it or it may drive me crazy. This is two days worth of work. I wish I could learn how to knit with both hands because the dropping yarn and picking up yarn is a real pain in the bum. Glenn took a look at it and asked if I could make him a fair isle hat. I about fainted! I've asked him to pick something other than a Dublin Beanie for ages and now he's found something else he likes. Of course, he's picked the most time consuming and difficult thing I've ever made but that's ok, he's well worth it. I may make him a dozen of them. I'll have to find a nice hat pattern.


One reason I'd never made anything like this before was the black and white thing. I love the patterns but the black and white just seemed so stark. I'd never thought of doing Norwegian patterns in another color! The women who made these, at Annie & Company, had them in all different colors. I'm so glad I got to see them and was inspired by their lovely scarves.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Twisted Sisters

Yes that would be us. And this sock pattern




Easy cute pattern. They look like they were a lot of work but they weren't. Pat wanted anklets so I kept them short. I actually like these so much I may make a pair for myself!

I've just wound the yarn for my Min Ulla scarf. This is my first color work and I'm very excited! Actually I attempted color mittens before but they were knitting up so small that I ripped them down before I got to the thumb. I figured this will be the right size now matter how badly I may screw it up. Now I'm debating which color I want to be them main color and which I want to be the contrast color.

I also cast on a pair of Almondine by Anne Hanson which appears in Sock Knitting Master Class. I usually am a monogamous knitter but I think I'm going to need a back up pattern in case the scarf makes me crazy. Or crazier.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Toasty Socks

My sister, Pat, has a friend, Kathy, who has a problem. Cold feet. Who knew that living in Florida you could have cold feet? I've knit Kathy a pair of socks which she loved so much she asked for another pair. I really like knitting requests. I feel that people really appreciate what's knit for them if they're asking for more. Needless to say I was only too happy to oblige.

I knew she'd need a thicker yarn so I picked out a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in medium weight. I hadn't knit with this in a long time and I'd forgotten how much I really love this yarn. It's soft and strong and just feels so wonderful. The one I picked out of my stash was a mill end with a mix of colors - brown, peach & yellow. Now that I had the yarn I needed to find a pattern. Thinking back to what I've knit I new instantly that I wanted to make the Lacy Mock Cable Socks. They're quick and easy but they don't look like it. Here's the pair I made.





If these don't keep her feet warm, she's just gonna have to move closer to the equator.


On the other hand, Pat asked for a pair of anklets which I'm currently working on. I love that I'm making socks for my sister that are called Twisted Sisters! Should have those done tomorrow with a package headed to Florida on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ambitious

Yesterday Allyson and I went up to a knitting shop we love called Annie & Company. Two of our all time favorite knitting shop girls, Alyssa & Carlee, were there and we were so happy to see them! They both worked at The Point and both moved up to Annie's. Al & I have been there a couple of times but not in a long time. Now that my knees are so much better we'll be making the trip more often. It's a great shop with a great mix of yarns.


While there a woman came in and she was knitting the most gorgeous scarf. It was a tube scarf, I think that's what it would be called, and it was fair isle. Gulp. While she was knitting hers, Carlee went in the back and brought hers out. The original pattern, Min Ulla, is done in black and white but these scarves were in different colors. Carlee actually knit hers then joined it to make a long cowl to be wrapped. I was inspired. So much so that I bought some yarn and, as soon as I'm finished my sister's socks, I'm going to cast it on. I didn't want to do it in black and white but I suck at putting colors together. Alyssa was a great help in this area. She came over, picked out a few colors and started joining them. This is the color combination we came up with. Ok she came up with:





They're both Madeline Tosh Pashmina. The first is Antique Lace and the second is Betty Draper's Blue. At first I didn't think they matched well but then Alyssa twisted them together and I loved the combination! I really am excited about getting this started and just hoping that this project is not beyond my capabilities. Luckily, between friends and my Twitter knitters, I'm sure I'll get through this relatively unscathed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

OMG! OHD!

I'm going to assume you all know what OMG means but if you don't know what OHD means it's Offhand Designs. They make gorgeous knitting bags and being the bag ho that I am, I've always wanted one. Well today was my lucky day!

Glenn and I went out to Long Island again today and while we where there I decided to check Knitmap to see if there were any shops close by. I got lucky and found Knit in Roslyn, NY. We decided to take a ride over and check it out. As soon as we walked in the door, I saw this gorgeous bag hanging from a hook on the wall.




Lovely, isn't it? It's an Offhand Designs Fiona bag in Regal Stripes. I went over and picked it up. Threw it over my shoulder. Man was it nice. There were a couple of other Offhand Designs bags but I really loved the colors in this one. Glenn told me to get it. I looked at the price tag, said thanks but no and put it back. We walked around the shop at bit. I didn't see anything that caught my eye. Not a lot of sock yarns but they do have a great selection of yarns and accessories. My eyes kept going back to the bag. Glenn noticed and had a little smirk on his face. After 25 years together, this dear man knows me so very very well. I went back to the bag, petted it. Looked inside and out. Checked out the pockets. Again Glenn told me to get it. Again I looked at the price tag. But then something weird happened. I tried to put it back on the hook but my hands wouldn't obey my brain and let it go. I said to him "Are you sure?" He said absolutely. So after the shop owner kissed this baby goodbye, she came home with me!

I really love this bag but I haven't gotten past the petting stage. By the time I go knitting this week I'll be ready to bring her out in public. I think.