Friday, January 29, 2010

Wright Was All Wrong

Have you ever made so many mistakes in a knitting project that you don't even know what size you're making anymore? I screwed up the shaping on my drape neck summer top Wright so many times that I had trouble following it while making a matching piece. Tonight, I frogged the entire thing, and I was probably about 75% done with the project. Sometimes you just need a fresh start when there's too much wrong going on! What's funny about this is that the yarn I'm using was already frogged from another project. No worries though, I'm still going to knit this pattern :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nalu Mitts and Cell Cozy

Pattern: Nalu Mitts
Yarn: fingering weight natural beige 2-ply alpaca
Needles: US 2 and US 3 magic loop
Notes: No mods to pattern. I used smaller needles and lighter weight yarn and therefore had to make the larger size. Love these! They're so soft and comfy :-)

Pattern: improvised
Yarn: Imagination (Knit Picks) in Lost Boys colorway
Needles: US 1 dpns
Notes: Magic CO; stockinette with incs at bottom. At the neck, I switched to 2x2 twisted rib and made eyelets for the closed drawstring. Drawstring was made by doing a cable CO with 64 sts followed by a traditional BO and joining ends.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nalu Mitts Are Blocking :-)

This evening before dinner I finished my alpaca Nalu Mitts (Rav pattern link). So now they're blocking after a nice Kookaburra bath. Can't wait to wear them with my Meret! Now the only outdoor winter accessories left to knit are my hibernating My So Called Scarf and my Ravelympics project, Winter Twilight Mitts. So now I have 3 WIPs: a cell phone cozy, Wright, and Vestee.

After reading through the Twilight series twice over the last few months, I've now started re-reading Tolkien, beginning with The Silmarillion. It's my third time reading it, and the last time was over two years ago. I love reading about all the stories of the elves, wizards, and Numenorians way before The Hobbit and the LOTR. After reading those books, I'd like to re-read the last Harry Potter book. It's hard to believe, but I've only read Book 7 once!

Though the skies have been completely dismal, I'm glad that the sidewalks and streets are now clear of snow and ice. That means I can run -- good thing, too, because I need it! On Saturday I got so restless that I took Marie to Antrim Park and we walked around the lake once. It felt so good to get the blood pumping in my legs.

Going back to Twilight... I read that Howard Shore will be doing the musical score to Eclipse. Woohoo! He's done the following movies, to name just a few: all three LOTRs movies, The Game, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, High Fidelity, Crash, The Departed, The Silence of the Lambs, Late Night with Conan O'Brien (title theme), and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (title theme). Since I'm anticipating that this will be the best of the Twilight movies (it's the best book IMO), I'm excited that the music promises to be good, too! The actors seem pretty stoked about this third movie and its director.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two Berets To Show

My goal to use up all the natural alpaca yarn gifted to me this summer is almost complete! Here are my latest FOs. The beige beret is Meret by Woolly Wormhead. This pattern was very well written, and I love how it fits. No major mods: just a tubular CO and holding the yarn doubled to match the pattern gauge. The gray beret is Beret de Printemps by The Knitist. Of the 6 skeins of yarn (3 each natural color), I have one skein of beige fingerweight alpaca yarn left, so I think I'll make Nalu Mitts.

Note: the mitts shown with my Beret de Printemps are my Evenstar mitts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yarns Revisited

Before revisiting two yarns, I have an FO update. Tonight I finished my Beret de Printemps made from the remainder of my sportweight gray alpaca yarn! It's done soaking in Kookaburra and is now blocking on a dinner plate. This pattern was different and kept my interest. A very good TV knit, I must say. It looks cable-y, but only consists of knits, yarnovers, and decreases. I followed the basic skeleton of the pattern but modified it for size and lighter yarn weight. Can't wait to wear this because it already looked cute when I tried it on while in progress! Now I'll finally have a hat to match my gray coat. Next up will be my blue and black Winter Twilight Mitts and eventually my icey light blue My So Called Scarf so that I'll have a full ensemble of knits to wear with my coat. (All my other hats/gloves/scarves match my brown/cream winter coat.) Actually, I've already been wearing my gray fingerless Evenstar Gloves with my gray coat. But, it'll be nice to have two choices of mitts to wear once I get my Winter Twilight Mitts done!

What I really wanted to blog about tonight is the yarn from two past FOs: Tangled Yoke Cardigan and my Pomatomus socks (see pics below). I used Telemark and Imagination, respectively, both from Knit Picks. The Telemark has been wearing insanely well! I've been wearing my TYC a lot the past week or two with all the recent cold temps since it's my warmest cardigan. Seriously, there is little (and I do mean little) to no pilling, even on the INSIDE! If I ever want to make a ski/outdoor sweater out of sportweight yarn, that will be it because it's so sturdy. Imagination, on the other hand, tends to pill and felt easily with wear. However, I'm really liking this effect on my Pomatomus socks. These socks are working out great as nice, warm socks to wear around the house or with boots out in the cold while shoveling snow for 3 hours. They're so warm that I can't wear them to bed! If you have cold feet, I highly recommend Imagination.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009 Knits Collage and 2010 FOs To Date

Yay, I finally got around to making a collage of my 2009 knits! 5 sweaters, 2 summer tops for Marie, 1 skirt, 8 pairs of socks, 2 dishcloths, 3 toys, 1 headband, 1 bag, and 1 pair of fingerless mitts. Two notes on the pics: 1) The Tangled Yoke Cardigan pic is a WIP. I thought this pic showed the tangled cables and buttons best compared to the FO pics; 2) The fingerless mitts pic is not the actual pair since I gifted the original pair to my mom. This pic is of the 2nd pair for myself which I finished today. The originals were the longer pattern length, unlike what you see here.

All the sweaters made for me were completed by late winter. After that, I made lots of smaller projects, especially socks. Socks became much more common for me to make in 2009. You'll notice two Sheldons and the Lola Bunny. Knitting toys were a first in 2009. There was one project I actually finished prior to 2009 (Blaze: the olive green zigzag yoke sweater). I included it here because I ripped out the BO, tinked back, and fixed the fit of the yoke so that I'd finally wear it and consider it a true FO. So glad it worked out because it would've killed me to frog those time-consuming cables.

The block of 4 FOs in the second collage are my completed 2010 FOs to date: Lullaby Jr (blue-violet), toe-up/no-purl Monkey socks, Blue Step Baby Booties, and Evenstar Gloves. The Monkey socks were completed in 2008. But, just like my Blaze sweater, I couldn't wear them and needed to re-do the tight BO. After ripping out the original BO, I went back and did a JSSBO. Much better! The Lullaby Jr socks were made for Marie toe-up to match my cuff-down Lullaby socks. The Blue Step Baby Booties were my first time doing brioche stitch. And finally, the alpaca Evenstar Gloves were my first LOTR-inspired project. They are nice and super warm, and I enjoy wearing them at the computer when my hands get cold.

I have so many knitting projects planned, new and resurrected. Before starting the short-sleeve Annie Modesitt cardigan (Laura's Cardigan from Summer 2009 IK), I want to get all hats and mitts done. Karen and I are going to do a Winter Twilight Mitts KA using Knit Picks Palette. I've always wanted to make those! I also have two berets and one more pair of mitts planned, although it's possible I might wait to do those. My cell phone and handheld electronic sudoku need cozies, and Marie and Ian could use an extra sweater. I haven't even mentioned all the new socks I'll be making with my recent purchases, and I haven't decided what project(s) I want to complete during Ravelympics! It's definitely nice to have so many patterns, ideas, and yarn lined up :-)
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