Archive for January, 2008

Work (Not) In Progress Wednesday

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I have not knit a thing, not a single stitch for a week.  

1. Sunrise Circle – no change. Still need to assess the taking in of the side seams.

2. Newfoundland Mitts – I thought about starting the second mitten, does that count at all?

3. Seaman’s Cap – Last week I said I expected to finish this up and instead I frogged the whole thing. It was too snug for comfort and I need to re-knit it with size 7 or 8 needles. I don’t have size 7’s and I despise my size 8’s.

You’d think over the week I would have found time to go to my LYS for 7’s and 8’s or maybe started something new, but noooo….instead I’ve knit NOTHING.

Last week I was talking about knitting the 3 A.M Cable Hat or Calorimetry or something with the remaining half of my periwinkle yarn, but none of those has sparked much interest this week either.

I don’t even have any socks on the needles. The closest I came to starting socks was looking for inspiration in Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. I really do want to knit a bunch of patterns from this book this year.

Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting next week.

Our New Rental House

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Tonight we expect to move over to our new rental house. We’d be over there already if we could be, but it was just this morning I got the high speed Internet connected (required for work) and most of the furniture was delivered. Here’s the house.

Exterior of House

Exterior of House

So, so much nicer than this crappy apartment where we can’t get away from our neighbors. It’s much bigger than what we need, but there’s not a lot to choose from and moving into a house that’s normally rented to college students was NOT an option. Every day I think I can’t take even ONE more day in this apartment so it will be a relief to get this move done.

We looked all over town and finally found furniture at the last place we looked. In all honesty, even if we had gone here first we wouldn’t have known what we wanted anyway.

Living Room

Dining Room

Bedroom

After the lengthy furniture buying process we still managed to go to Costco and purchase all our linens. They’re washed and ready to go! There are still some basics we need, but we should be able to cover it with a trip to Target and Costco (again).

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

1. Sunrise Circle – I haven’t done anything with this yet. Once we move to the new rental house I’ll have a whole desk dedicated to knitting that I can spread it out on and assess what needs to be done.

2. Newfoundland Mitts – This is my second pair due to the mistake I made in the first pair. One mitten is done except for the thumb. Second mitten hasn’t even been started.

Second Pair

3. Seaman’s Cap – This basic hat with a nice deep brim should be suitable for Richard. If not, it will fit me. I’m knitting it with Valley Yarns Northampton and finding that I really like the sturdiness of the yarn. I expect to finish this up tonight.

Winter Hat

What’s next? I don’t know if I’ll knit the 3 A.M Cable Hat or Calorimetry or something with the remaining half of my periwinkle yarn. As you can see I’m still inspired by the cold weather.

I haven’t forgotten about Norah Gaughan either! Mom’s still sending me Knitting Nature and in the meantime I’ve been drooling over her patterns from Berroco. You can see Volume 1 and Volume 2 previews on Berroco’s website. I’m going to try to continue working with what I already own first (not to mention I don’t think I have yarn on hand for any of the patterns bigger than a hat), but the temptation is strong….

Cold Weather Calls for Wool Hats

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Brr….it’s cold! The Missoulian said it was -9 degrees this morning! I think the high was about 5 degrees which is less than what the temperature was when we came back from Costco last night. I don’t know what it was with the wind chill, but my hands were numb in about 30 seconds.

Before Christmas I never had time to knit hats and now with this super cold weather I’m trying to turn them out as quick as possible. Here’s my finished Koolhaas:

Koolhaas Hat

It seemed like Koolhaas took a while to knit, largely due to the 2 difficult cable rows that are in each 8 row pattern repeat. It was worth it even if those rows took forever to knit! I considered cabling without a cable needle (on the easy cable row I did), but I was using my despised Clover Palace circular’s and the cable on these needles is always trying to curl up, pulling on the yarn. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Periwinkle.

And now I’ve started a Seaman’s Cap in WEBS Northampton ‘Chocolate’. I hope Richard will wear this one, but if he doesn’t I will.

Gifts Revealed

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

While I was coming up with my knitting resolutions and cataloging my stash, I was knitting away on my Mom’s birthday gifts. Unfortunately I just didn’t have time to finish them with her birthday being one week after Christmas. One of her gifts you’ve already seen – the Green Trekking Socks. Here is the other:

Newfoundland Mittens

This is the Newfoundland Mitts pattern knit with WEBS Northampton in Midnight Heather and Noro Kureyon #92. They would have been quick to knit except when I got to the end of the second mitten I realized I had missed an entire ‘bubble’ row before the thumb opening. UGH. So rather than frog I just started another mitten and at some point I’ll finish a second pair.

You have to see the inside too:

Inside Out Mitts

I also sent another pair of Noro Fingerless Mitts to my Mom for a friend of hers. Knit with Noro Kureyon #92. I’m almost out of Kureyon. All that’s left is a bag of scraps that’s mostly black and green in color.

Noro Mitts

That’s it for secret knitting projects! Everything else I’m working on has already been featured here.

A Typical Winter Day

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Today was a typical day for me. First, there was snow. It’s always snowing. For those of you reading in Washington, if it rained there 2 days ago it’s snowing here now. See what I mean:

Snow

Our balcony is relatively protected from the weather. When I looked out this morning it appeared as if the cars had about 4 inches of snow on them.  I got to work and periodically checked on the snow – yep, still snowing.

My Office

Two computer, two phones, two handheld devices, a printer – it seems like a ridiculous amount of stuff, but I use all of it. After working all day I headed out to see the horses at 5pm. Oddly, after all that snow my truck had no snow on it. Strange, but hey, saves me the time of clearing off snow. So I head to the barn to ride Blondie.

Blondie

She says hi. 🙂 While I’m getting her ready to ride I’m entertained by the ever-present barn kitties. These are two of the younger kitties playing with a manure fork. Actually, they play with manure balls too. I tried to get a picture of that, but was unsuccessful.

Barn Kitties

So back to getting Blondie ready….I’m riding her 5 days per week and really enjoying it. I think she enjoys all the attention too, but I do feel bad sometimes since she’s somewhere around 16 years old. Look at her muscles, has she changed? I think she’s getting a lot rounder! She looks less like an old style quarter horse now.

Blondie in Cross Ties

(Click for bigger photo.) I’ll get some photos of her under saddle as soon as I can. Now that she’s settled in to the new barn and is no longer frantic, we’re working mainly on establishing rhythm and balance. Lots of trotting! To prevent boredom, I’ve been teaching her to leg yield and I’m starting to throw in more transitions. We really need to work on canter transitions. Going into the canter she still wants to revert into frantic speed demon horse, but I think with a few more weeks of calm riding behind her and more strength/balance this will come together too.

And when we’re done it’s time for a treat.

Blondie Gets a Treat

Then she gets to go back outside with her pony friends. Yep, my little mare’s herd group is two ponies. She’s barely 15 hands so she’s practically a pony herself.

That’s my typical week day.  Well, that and the knitting I do when I get back from the barn, but you see enough of that in my other posts.

WIP Wednesday, January 16th

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Wednesday already? I wanted to post about the progress the horses are making or about how we’re moving to a new rental house in about a week, but with no photos of those things I figured I would wait. But I will tell you the horses are doing great and we are getting out of this crappy apartment before the end of the month too.

There has been a lot of knitting…

The Green Trekking socks are finished. I finished the first one last Wednesday evening and then I whipped out the second one in 4 days! That’s definitely a record for me, especially since I knit Trekking socks at 78 stitches around.

Trekking Socks

These are knit with Trekking 100 using a modified version of the Undulating Rib pattern from Favorite Socks. I have knit this pattern before with Trekking and even though I love the undulating pattern, I didn’t want to knit it all the way down the foot again.

WIPs

1. Sunrise Circle – I don’t like the fit around the bottom. It’s too wide so I’m considering my options for taking it in. Originally I thought I just needed to overlap the front the proper amount, but there’s just too much ease for this to be a viable solution.

2. Secret Item that’s unfinished is still unfinished, but my Mom’s birthday gift has been mailed so I will be able to reveal it soon. After which I will probably feel guilty about it being unfinished and I’ll have to finish it…(Raveler’s can get a sneak peak here.)

3. Koolhaas Hat – I’m so excited to have started something new! There’s more cold, Winter weather ahead so more hat options are a definite plus.

Koolhaas Hat

Last week I went looking for Knitting Nature and realized I DIDN’T BRING IT to Montana. Luckily my Mom is sending a package this way so the situation will be rectified soon.

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

(WIP = Work in Progress) I’m going to try something new to keep the blog current and keep me focused on my current knitting projects.

1. The Green Trekking Socks are coming along now that I’ve finally gotten back to them after Christmas knitting. It was a little bit hard to get started on them, but now that I’m going again I’m enjoying watching the color changes happen.

Trekking Sock

2. Sunrise Circle – I don’t have buttons for this yet, but I did bring back DMC thread to sew the facing down. I’ll get started on this task this week.

3. Technically I do have another item that’s more of an UFO than a WIP. I cannot reveal what it is until I get my mom’s birthday gift to her…

That’s really all I have in progress (that’s here in MT anyway). I’m itching to cast on for a Koolhaas Hat, a 3 AM Cable Hat, and something from Knitting Nature. Have you seen the favorited projects on Ravelry from this book? So many beautiful knits. I’ve had this book for a long time and I’ve always loved it. I don’t have yarn on hand for any of the sweaters so I’ll probably be knitting the Sunflower Tam or Droplets Hat.

Knitting (and other) Goals 2008

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

The New Year is here and, as part of looking back at 2007, I have some goals to work toward in 2008. 

  1. Catalogue my stash on Ravelry (done).
  2. Finish my UFO’s which may include frogging.
  3. Knit primarily from my stash, ending the year with less stashed yarn than I have now.
  4. Knit primarily from books and patterns I already have.
  5. Keep learning new things about knitting.

Honestly, I don’t think these goals will be that hard to attain. I love the yarn and patterns I have. With them catalogued on Ravelry it’s much easier to ‘shop’ from my stash, although only a portion of my stash is here in Montana. See:

MT Stash

Goal 2 requires a bit of focus, but it won’t happen all at once because some of these items were left in Washington (the Booga Bag that needs more felting, the Circular Shrug I need to frog, the Endpaper Mitts I need to frog and re-knit larger, Vintage Velvet that I need to finish/re-knit). The two items I have here in Montana are the Sunrise Circle (along with thread to finish it) and the current socks-in-progress which were neglected for Christmas knitting.

For goals 4 to 5, I brought a nice selection of books with me to Montana that I’m sure will be featured in future blog posts.

MT Books

Outside of knitting, I want to 6.) continue riding a lot and 7.) settle down a bit more in Montana (i.e. find some place NOT an apartment to live in). I think we’ll be out of the apartment soon. The land or house search is ongoing.

All that stash? It fits here:

Stash Storage

Saying Goodbye to 2007

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

So much has happened in the last 3 months of the year I’ve kind of forgotten what the beginning of the year was like. The year according to my blog went as follows…

January – New Year’s Resolutions: I’m not usually into resolutions, but this year was so hectic that it reinforces my desire to simplify and focus on the things that are important. 

February – Stash Enhancement: Finally, I have put my hands on some Socks That Rock.

March – Wrapping It Up: We are getting down to the final punch list to get final occupancy.

April – To-Do Lists: The house list is getting shorter and shorter, and shorter, and shorter….but it has yet to go away!!!

May – Move Nearly Complete: As you may have guessed we are living in the new house now.

June – No Surprises Here: It’s more socks!

July – More Birthday Yarn: My Mom surprised me with even more yarn about a week after my birthday.

August – Would You Believe It – I’ve Been Sewing: Finally, I have started sewing again. 

September – Weekend Knitting: Do you want to see what I have been working on?

November – Oh no, not again: Yesterday we went out to look at more houses.

December – I won!: There was an exciting surprise in my email inbox this morning – I won tapmouse’s contest! 

Yeah, that brings it right back! There was a lot of sock knitting, house finishing, gift knitting, and stress about moving. Speaking of December, I should show you what Tapmouse sent me.

My prize!

Lovely Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn and goodies! She included a lovely hand made card, a cute sheep with note paper that could be attached to my keys or knitting bag, and chocolate. Thanks so much Tapmouse for the prize package! I can’t wait to get back to knitting socks this year. 🙂