Archive for December, 2008

Remaining WIPs for 2008

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

For me the year is closing with far more unfinished projects than I’d like. I flip flopped around this month, casting on for more new projects than normal. Then I was completely unprepared to block Swallowtail and Wisp. After failing to get pins at 2 stores I gave up on buying local and ordered a blocking kit online.

1. Clapotis – likely to be frogged. I’ll make a decision this week one way or the other. If you want photos see last week’s WIP post.

2. Swallowtail Shawl – going on the blocking board tonight. If you want photos see December 17th’s WIP post.

3. Herringbone Rib Socks – ready to give these another go. The pattern was agonizingly slow to knit and I didn’t have the patience before Christmas to keep working on them. Also, there was a tip posted on Ravelry about an easier way to knit the pattern repeat so I’ll try that as well. If you want photos see last week’s WIP post.

4. Wisp – going on the blocking board as soon as Swallowtail comes off. I really enjoyed knitting this because of the wonderful colors in the yarn. Can’t wait to block it! It doesn’t even look like Wisp right now.

Koigu Wisp

5. Noro Striped Scarf – I’ll finish this up tomorrow and get it washed. It’s not that it needs blocking so much, just that washing will make it as soft as possible. Oh, I hadn’t shown you this one yet – it’s the striped Noro scarf made widely popular by Brooklyn Tweed. I’ll include more details when it’s finished, but if you’re anxious the basic recipe for creating this scarf is on the preceding link (and if you haven’t seen Jared’s amazing photography you better go have a look).

Noro Scarf

6. Simple Socks – no rush on this one. This is my easy project to carry along when I’ll have a few minutes here and there. These are inspired by Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

Blue Socks

Just because, this is what it looks like here today. Note all the white specs in front of the fir trees:

Snow Again

I don’t know why I’m so amazed that it can snow like this day after day. I mean really, in Washington it rains day after day. Hopefully I can get downtown this weekend to get some photos. I was down there yesterday and found the results of all this snow to be quite interesting.

Random Monday

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Here’s Blondie. Just because. With all the weather we’ve been getting I only go down to the barn to see her once per week. First it was too cold (whenever the temperature is below 20 I don’t bring her into the heated barn or work her so as to not disrupt her from maintaining her own internal temperature) and then the roads have been bad.

Blondie

She has a nice thick coat this year and has had no trouble with the weather. Of course, she gets fed extra when it’s bitterly cold and she has a shelter to get out of the wind.

Not going to see her (and not going anywhere else for that matter) has meant more knitting time. I am currently up to 6 WIPs. Can’t quite figure out how that happened. Two of the projects just need blocking and then they’ll be off the WIP list. Hopefully the blocking kit will be delivered tomorrow, otherwise I don’t have enough pins to block either project.

To top it off I’m thinking about starting a sewing project too.

Christmas Eve WIPs

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

How can it be Christmas Eve? It doesn’t seem possible. Maybe because I still have to work today?

1. Clapotis – still on hold. One of the reasons I chose this yarn is that it has many colors in it that I wear. I supposed that would make it versatile to dress up a casual outfit. However, I think that all the colors are muddy together and the end product may just be blah.

Clapotis

2. Swallowtail Shawl – I was annoyed about my order for a blocking kit being canceled, but I didn’t do anything about buying pins in town or ordering a different kit. Imagine my surprise this morning when I have a UPS tracking notice that says my order has shipped. Umm…what? While I am confident that a package is coming, I’m not holding my breath that it’s what I ordered until I see it for myself.

3. Herringbone Rib Socks – haven’t touched them in the last week. Here are two photos to show you how this colorway looks with this stitch pattern. Yarn is Shepherd Sock in the colorway Tuscany.

Herringbone Rib Socks 1

Herringbone Rib Socks 2

4. Wisp – my new exciting project. Antithesis of the colors in Clapotis! The yarn is Koigu KPM from my stash.

Wisp

Wisp

Wisp

One of my favorite things about knitting with handpainted yarn is seeing how the color progresses when you have all the stitches pushed together like this. It never gets old.

With that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Stay safe if you’re going out on the roads.

Knitting Up a Storm

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

With this weather I am not venturing out much and that has lead to several more spontaneous Christmas knits.

First up, we have a pair of Dashing mitts…

Dashing Mitts

Pattern: Dashing from Knitty
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Superwash
Mods: Lots! I knit the smaller version from the pattern. I shortened them by skipping the first cable round and not knitting as many rounds after the thumb. I also put in a thumb gusset.

The cable does suck the wrist area in quite tightly. From my past experience with fingerless mitts, I think this will be fine because the yarn I’ve used in the past stretches out with wear. I am a tiny bit concerned since I haven’t used *this* yarn before, but I can wear these so I think they’ll fit the recipient.

Next, I can only show you this much:

Pattern not yet revealed

Finally, I cast on for another new project at lunch today. I’ll show it to you tomorrow on my WIP list.

I Know You All Want to See My Snow Too

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Come on, you know you do. Even though you all have snow too. In fact, you may have more snow there in Western WA than we have in Missoula. What’s wrong with that picture?

I haven’t been outside since Saturday and I have to say, I underestimated how much had accumulated with the steady stream of small snowflakes we’ve had since Sunday. I measured the height against my Winter riding boots after I came back in: 8-10 inches. The first few inches fell a week ago during high winds so it had all drifted around.

Snow, Dec 2008

Thanks go out to my snow removal service! And no, I’m not lazy for not doing my own snow removal – I’m supporting a local business. They’ve been here 3 times in the last week. They use a quad with snow plow to do the sidewalks and then a truck to back blade the snow off the driveway. Worth every penny.

Snow, Dec 2008

Hope the fish make it through another Winter. There’s no way we could have netted them out (even before it snowed), plus they survived out there last Winter. Gave us quite a surprise in the Spring as the pond was frozen when we rented the house.

Snow, Dec 2008

Don’t think we’ll be using the back steps any time soon.

Snow, Dec 2008

Snow, Dec 2008

The trees in the yard look lovely. This little tree is only about 4 feet tall.

Snow, Dec 2008

I’m thankful for Winter riding boots. They may not be stylish, but they are taller than my normal Winter boots. The snow is likely level with my other boots now. It’s still falling too.

Baby Hats = Happiness

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Everyone keeps asking me for a copy of this pattern. It is not mine, I am not the author. The author has made it available free at this link: Baby Hat Pattern

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What gets rid of knitting grumpiness? Forgetting about that swatch that isn’t going to work (at least not easily) for the pattern I wanted to knit and finding the cutest baby hat pattern to knit from stashed yarn.

Baby Hat

Pattern: Bananahead’s Baby Beanie by vibegrrl
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, about 2/3 of a skein for the 6 month size
Needles: US 4

This was total instant gratification. Free pattern (available on Ravelry, if you’re not on Ravelry and want it let me know and I’ll check to see if the designer has made it available elsewhere), yarn from stash, and each hat takes only 2 evenings of knitting time. Now I should probably get back to Christmas knitting, but I may have to cast on for one more of these with stripes first….

Edited to add: if you’re not on Ravelry, you can get the pattern at this link: Beanie. And you should join Ravelry! It’s awesome. 🙂

Grumpy Wednesday

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Just being honest. I’ve been grumpy all week. The bitter cold weather makes going outside miserable. The streets are still icy because liquid de-icer doesn’t work below 15 degrees and the city ran out of granular de-icer. Traffic is terrible around town. The highest temperature we’ve seen since Saturday night was 1 degree (update: 8 degrees!). Once again, we didn’t buy snow tires for the car so we only have one vehicle to go anywhere. GRRRR.

I don’t even know what to knit! There are two things I should knit, but one I don’t have yarn for and the other I didn’t feel like starting. I knit a swatch, but didn’t get gauge for my first choice pattern.

1. Clapotis – on hold.

2. Swallowtail Shawl – off the needles and ready to be blocked. I already know I don’t have enough pins to block it so I haven’t washed it yet. Hopefully today I can get out to buy pins or blocking wires. (Update: yarn store doesn’t sell pins or wires, the line at Joann’s was longer than I had lunch hour time for. May try Michael’s tonight which is at least on the same side of town as where we live because traffic sucks.)

Swallowtail in need of blocking

3. Herringbone Rib Socks – patience is not my strong suit right now. The herringbone rib is a two row pattern with no rest row. It takes me forever so these are on hold. I did see on Ravelry that another knitter figured out an alternative way to knit this which will give you more of a rest row. I’ll try that when I regain patience.

Oh shoot. I forgot to take a picture of what the rib pattern looks like with this yarn. Will do it later.

4. Bananahead’s Baby Beanie – I finally found something to start knitting. Thanks to Ravelry for helping find a pattern and vibegrrl for the pattern itself. Yarn from stash, of course.

Baby Hat

Weekend

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

When it looks like this outside:

Snow

Okay, fine. It doesn’t *look* that bad, but the wind is blowing 23 mph (less than it was earlier today) and the current temperature is 6 degrees Fahrenheit at 4:30 pm. Tonight’s forecast low is -3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The only sane thing to do is stay inside and do this:

Swallowtail Beads

I’m working on the last chart!

Winter

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Even though the first official day of Winter is not until December 21st, it’s taken a turn for the bitter cold here. This photo was taken at 2:30 pm local time. The sun is finally coming out and the temperature is only 26 degrees. The forecast is for a high of 40; something tells me that’s not going to happen.

Winter Cold

The plants and lawn are all still frosty. The goldfish pond is frozen over. Luckily the ground isn’t frozen yet. The extra mist you see in the air is the water being blown out of the sprinkler system on what is likely the last day this task will be possible this year.

Tomorrow and the next 5 days are supposed to be really cold with highs in the single digits and lows in the NEGATIVE teens. Not including wind chill. Up until now it had been unseasonably warm with most days reaching 40 degrees and no real snow to speak of.

Riverbed Socks

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

I thought these deserved a post of their own, if for no other reason than to document the master numbers I used.

These were knit using the Riverbed Master Pattern from New Pathways for Sock Knitters. The pattern is knit toe up with the increases hidden on the sole of the sock. I did a 2×2 rib just on the top of the sock and then around the leg so they’d have a more forgiving fit. I’m still a bit paranoid about knitting socks for other people and getting that fit right!

Riverbed Socks

Master Numbers Used
A = 9 sts/inch
B = 10.25
C = 10
D = 78
E = ~4 inches (I added a few rows for ease)
F = 120
G = 40
H = 20
I = 12

Thoughts….
I’m still thinking about how 2 increases every 3rd round works for me. My very first pair of socks used this math (albeit for decreasing on a top down sock), but the majority of socks I knit decrease 2 stitches every other round. My socks seem to fit, but which fit is better? I should decide and then always use the same math.

While I still find the toe up cast-ons to be fiddly and the foot of the sock seems horribly long, I like that I can knit the leg to a length that maximizes the amount of yarn.

Even though I don’t find it at all difficult to pick up stitches along the heel flap, I love not having to as those stitches remain on the needle in Cat’s method.

To knit Cat’s sockitectures I still need to remind myself of how to do certain things – like LRinc and CW – which requires flipping back and forth in the book. For this reason, I often fall back on knitting traditional top-down socks. After this one I feel like her methods are fresh in my mind again and I’m excited to do more.