Friday, May 30, 2008

I take it back....

This is the world's most beautiful knitted object!! I have finished 7 squares from matching skeins and this is the one that I got out of the scraps from those skeins.... I was really worried that the scraps wouldn't go together in a harmonious way, but I think it worked out well! Notice that the big ball of acidic lime green didn't make it into the square? I didn't have enough colors to go with it... somehow that earthy lavender looked better with the olive.... Anyway! I can't wait to get more yarn. Ian is giving me 6 skeins of it that I found on sale at They are on the way, but it isn't happening fast enough!! And realistically, that will only take me a week to get through, anyway!!! Someone is going to come across me on the street wearing a sandwich board that says "Will work for yarn...."

So, today due to lack of Lizard Ridge stimulation, I have focused on Ian's Weasley Sweater for Christmas... I searched for charted letters. We have finally laid to rest the idea of B for Butthead and I have resigned myself to a plain old I for Ian.... That one will be easy, since I can just use the H chart that comes in the book and whack off the parts that don't comprise an I. I also searched for yarn. I don't think anybody wants this sweater to cost 200$, and the Silkroad Aran that is called for would get close to that. Plus, Ian said that he doesn't like wool. I have convinced him that he should compromise and use a wool blend so that he still gets the same kind of rustic hand-spun look, or it won't really be a Weasley family heirloom! I am thinking either Lion Brand Woolease or Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweed. I lean toward the patons but I don't know if I could get gauge. We shall see... I have both at home and can swatch at will!

Isn't your birthday the perfect day to win the lottery? Like a birthday present from Karma... I will dutifully trip off to get the ticket. Keep your fingers crossed.... Dreaming of all the yarn I could buy! Sigh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Only knitting can tear me away....

So, while working on the world's most beautiful afghan, my Lizard Ridge Love, I have been having a hard time tearing myself away to blog! I started at the Duran Duran concert, only put it down when I couldn't see anymore to knit. The pattern is easy to master and easy to memorize. I swear, this is the most addictive and most beautiful project I have ever worked on... I want to knit squares at all times!! I haven't even been able to make the time to take pictures of my lovely work! I thought that I would be satisfied with a couple of skeins every month, but I have developed an addiction. I am trying to get Ian to get me a couple more for my birthday this weekend!! Bright colors please, no pastels! ;-) This yarn creates a craving... I love the colors and the thick and thin texture.... I madly love this project. Sigh!
Learned to spit-splice, on a related note. Kind of gross, but very handy when the yarn has a knot... The texture of the afghan is going to be so smooth that I don't want to be seeing knots all over the place!
All other projects on hold, of course. I am carrying the Should-Have-Been-a-Kimono sweater around with me for when I run out of Kureyon, but it is a last resort! (Though I am one and a half squares from being out of luck, I do believe.) I am also pretty excited about starting the sweaters for Brenda's grand-daughters.... I have plenty to keep me busy for a while, I will not be suffering for want of yarn, that is for sure!!!
Just decided yesterday to go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in October. Roberta generously allowed me to change my vacation , and mom and Vicky are going to go with! I am very, very excited.... I will sign up for the workshops that I want to take after payday! I am seriously considering Basics of Feltmaking and Fair Isle Knitting 101. I can't wait to see the displays and the vendors, too. Maybe there will be sheep ice-cream!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The worlds most beautiful knitted object!

Is that not the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen?? How can I resist starting that?? This picture is hijacked from someone else's blog, btw, since I have not yet embarked on the journey of knitting the Lizard Ridge afghan.... I have so much else to be working on, but I am strangely hypnotized by the beauty of all those Noro Kureyon colors. And BLIND to the price tag, since you can buy one skein at a time... One skein equals one block, and every block can happily be in another colorway! So, I believe I am going to give into my weakness for beautiful things and buy two skeins on my way to Raleigh on Wednesday to see Duran Duran. (See me pause to let the roar of the appreciative crowd subside....)

Real progress was made on the Vogue sweater over the weekend... Not like LAST weekend, but that may have set some kind of land speed for knitting record! I am three quarters done with the front now, and I may let the sleeves languish while I knit a child's sweater for Brenda. On the other hand, if I just bite the bullet, I would be done in no time.... I have no willpower! Then Roberta's sweater is waiting patiently to be made somewhere in the mix.... Who knows where these chips will fall??

Not an exciting turnout at the meeting this weekend, just me and my mom, but two new people have emailed me and I have a couple of new members of the group on yahoo! It was just too pretty for everyone to stay inside and knit, I guess.

I was going to cancel and go to the beach this weekend, but I just was reminded by the radio that it is bike weekend there this weekend, so I believe that is a nix. I will wait and go my birthday weekend, especially if I can get some Noro on Wednesday!!! Too much knitting, too little time! :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bad stasher, bad!!

I suck at burning through my stash. The only thing I have done for it, maybe ever, is use the extra Wool of the Andes yarn for my lovely French Market Bag... And I still have 2.5 skeins of that!

So, what do I do about that? Plan Christmas around what I already own? Noooo, not me! I find that Webs has Cascade 220 on sale for 4$ a skein and buy enough of that to keep an army in felted bags!! At least I can say that I ordered every ounce and yard with a specific Christmas present in mind.

Then we come to the difference between writing a journal on paper and producing a blog that other people know about.... I can't organize my Christmas present thoughts here! Ian proved that by commenting on this Harry Potter sweater plans!! ;-) Same goes for Ravelry, two of my beloved Christmas present recipients can view my projects!!

Is worrying about Christmas presents at the beginning of May the final sign that indeed I have moved into middle age? Thirty-seven looms ahead of me, and I have become my grandmother!!

Since Brenda still hasn't pinned her granddaughters down and measured them for their sweaters, I swatched for Roberta's sweater last night. It is a pattern that you just cannot memorize, so I will have to watch the pattern closely, but it worked up well. I got gauge with the recommended size 7 needles, and it is an easy knit.... Once I can start it, it should work up quickly!! But I am being disciplined about this, and today I am going to cast on the front of my should-have-been-a-kimono sweater in progress.... It is going to be great, and apparently I can finish it pretty quickly!! Pictures coming soon....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Go Speed Knitter, GO!

The yarn came to make sweaters for Brenda's granddaughters... Since I am making those at someones request, I really want to start them. The yarn is great, too, Puffin from Crystal Palace! Soft and fuzzy. I can't wait to see how it is going to knit up!

Since I already had the vogue sweater on the needles, I HAD to wait, though... I love this yarn and didn't want to end up with a ridge through it from leaving it sitting on the needle while my attention wandered to something else. SO.... I knit the entire rest of the back of the sweater in a day and a half! I was a knittin' fool. It was a complete marathon session, slowed down only by the fact that the pattern called for decreases on EVERY row... Never ran across one that called for decreasing on the wrong side. And never did figure out how to get a decrease done on the purl side to lean to the left.... Oh, well, the little stitches are really hard to see, and I don't think it takes away from the over-all beauteousness. It came out beautifully, and now I am ready, nay ITCHING, to do a gauge swatch for the color block sweater in fluffy cupcake colors! Brenda hasn't brought me the measurements yet, but I can swatch!

Kind of a sad turnout on Saturday, just my mom, me and Brenda. We had fun, though, and knitted the afternoon away. I don't know what will happen next week, since we have made movie plans with good friends, but I will squeeze knitting in there somewhere. And try to attract the crocheters who emailed me last week, too! I am just really enjoying having some time dedicated to being social AND to knitting. It is great!

Mom made a sweater that turned out SO great. It is lipstick red, which is definitely her color, and has a yoke knitted in the round. Now I want to make the exact same sweater.... I envision cream or olive.... I will never have the time in my entire life to knit all that I want to!! (Or the money... ) I guess I just have to keep adding to the queue and dream of retirement when I can knit all day.... :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

All fibers should come from beech trees.

Red bag done! Whoopie!! I madly love this pattern and will make more and more of these French Market Bags. Seems to be a popular choice, as many, many people in my bag group on Ravelry have expressed their own mad love for this pattern. I started using it before I let it dry. That did result in slightly damp pattern pages, but it was worth it! It is my new favorite knitting project bag, which I am carrying to work every day with my knitting and my lunch inside. Now I want to make one with the contrasting colors the pattern actually calls for! Ohhh, and wouldn't it be great to do it like my mom's bubble bag, with one strand of Noro Silk Garden and one strand of wool. I can picture that, and it is a lovely fantasy.... Oh, the possibilities!

On a slightly less "mad love" kind of note, I had to frog the kimono. I am very disappointed, but I refuse to let it dampen my enthusiasm. The yarn, the aforementioned beech tree fiber, was absolutely gorgeous and silky, so silky in fact that it wouldn't hold the stitch pattern when I used big enough needles for gauge. It was a loopy, floppy mess. I am not giving up on my desire to make the lovely fan kimono, I just need a yarn with a better texture for the project.... And maybe a color that would harmonize beautifully with black.... Back into the queue it goes!

Because I love the fabulous, satiny Shine Worsted- the wonderful beech fiber- so much, I have already started an alternative project with the kimono yarn. It is cotton and beech, so I wanted something summery. Plus, I want to wear it! Who wants to wait until Fall?? So, I cast on an elbow-length-sleeve, square-neck tee from the most recent Vogue Knitting. The pattern calls for a slightly lighter soy bamboo and stripes, but I am using worsted and no stripes. The gauge works up almost exactly right, only about an eighth of an inch off, so I am making a 40 instead of a 44. I fall between those measurements, anyway. It makes up into a great fabric... I am excited, and the melancholy brought on by frogging begins to fade!

Knitting group meeting tomorrow! I am very happy that everyone is so eager to meet. I set the yahoo group to do an automatic reminder, which is ultra cool... The best-hoped-for thing finally happened! I got an email from a stranger who found the group on yahoo!! She said she and her friend crochet, and asked if we would include them! I emailed back that she is certainly welcome and I really hope they come.... Plus, my mom has invited another teacher, so our ranks are growing. I am so pleased!

I am trying to organize our first field trip as a knitting group.... June 14th is World Wide Knit in Public Day, can you believe it?? I found a group on Ravelry who are celebrating with a meeting in a park in Charleston, and I am trying to convince at least one other person to go with me. I am too shy to go alone, but maybe I will have the guts to go with someone else. Besides, Charleston is great and I hear good things about their LYS, Knit.

Who would have thought that I had so much to say, so often about knitting?? :-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

... but for the finishing!

Ok, the red bag is done all but the tying in... I hate tying in ends! I am ABSOLUTELY determined, though, to get it done before I start anything else. Since I am home sick today, I should be able to do it. Right now I am sitting on the couch with it tucked under my arm, hoping that some strange magic will occur and it will just be READY for the washer! I had a terrible grafting problem, but my genius mother was able to explain it way better than some book. I have to finish, though, because I can't wait to start the kimono!!

Had the meeting again on Saturday, Cathy and Sharon both came in addition the the people there the first week.... It was just exactly what I wanted it to be!! Peaceful, relaxing, fun. Mom did a way better job teaching Brenda than I did, but the important thing is that Brenda seemed very happy to have gotten the hang of the knit stitch!! I look so forward to meeting again this coming Saturday!
Ordered the yarn to make a tunic sweater for Roberta. She just loved the yarn for my kimono, so I couldn't resist ordering the very same yarn. It wasn't too expensive since it is from Knit Picks, and since I have to hand make it, I don't feel too much like my grandma buying Christmas presents in May! If that one works out, I may make more for people for the holiday. Since I am also doing sweaters for Brenda's grandkids and a Harry Potter sweater for Ian for Christmas, skully goes further down the list.... I am holding aside the pink mohair for just that project....