Thursday, February 28, 2008

Not dead yet!

Sorry that I've been AWOL again. My camera's battery died and I didn't have any charged for a while. And, after all, what good is a blog post without pictures?

First up, a while ago I entered an organization challenge at We were supposed to have our photos of the space we were organizing on our blog by the 27th. Oops! I was too disorganized to even post about disorganization! The space I am tackling? My yarn/fiber corner.

I have a couple of goals for the space.
  • Put all of the fiber in one place
  • Put all yarn in plastic bags or containers
  • Make a spot for all of the knitting accessories
  • Be able to put a spinning wheel (an upright one) in the corner
  • Make fabric boxes to hold yarn/fiber
    • Unfortunately one of the fabulous fabric stores nearby is going out of business and everything is 40% off. There was a slight falling down episode. The fabric stash (though not as impressive as the yarn/fiber is still pretty impressive) just grew exponentially.
  • As a side goal, get rid of some of the books I never look at nor will ever read so I can have more shelf space.
Now, I might have to move all of my fibery stuff into a different place but those are the major goals. I really want to become more familiar with the kinds of yarn in my stash before the fiber festival season starts up.

In order to reacquaint myself myself with the stash, I've started making things out of stash yarn. I told you about starting the Princess Mitts pattern last blog post. I still haven't finished the second green mitt but I got pretty far on it. Then my chart marker fell off the chart so I had to find where I left off. Let's just say that the result was "interesting" and a good portion had to be frogged. I'm letting us both have some time off before I try it again. The other pair of Princess Mitts, however, are finished and are ready to be sent off as a random gift for my cousin. (I still haven't finished her Christmas present so I'm feeling guilty.)

I got a pair of mitts out of the one ball of the Zitron Ecco so I have plenty of yarn to make myself a pair. The color was just so much fun!

There were problems, however, with the pattern. The left thumb gusset is a disaster. The right one is a k2p2 rib. The left one is a k2, p1 rib. The two look nothing alike! What were they thinking?! Anyway, I got out some chart paper and made a mirror image of the right gusset. It didn't work out perfectly so I have some changes to make for the next pair. The left mitt should start the ribbing with p2, k2 rather than k2,p2 so the chart on the left and the right mitts can both be centered.

The next stash project is Wicked, a sweater that I've been wanting to make for a while now. I bought the yarn months ago but I was in a bunch of projects that needed to be finished first. Then Christmas happened and I kept not starting it. Finally, last Friday, I decided to cast on. By that Sunday I had already reached the armholes and was 3 inches below it. Superfast!

I did have a couple of problems, though. Mainly it involves my inability to read directions correctly. First, I increased in a place that shouldn't have increases and did this for 4 inches. So I frogged it down to the ribbing and started again. I reached the point where you put the armholes onto waste yarn and I realized that I didn't do all of the increases that I should have done. Once again, had to frog it. Even after all of that, I still really like this sweater. It is simple but is fun to make.

The main problem that I had with it, though, is its weight. Now, I don't mean the weight of the yarn. I mean the weight of the sweater itself. This is the first project I've made in a while that has a big of heft to it. Recently it's been all lace, fingerless gloves, and other small projects. The weight of it put a strain on my wrists and made them hurt. So, erring on the side of caution, I haven't been knitting the last couple of days. Instead, I've been sewing. I'm almost finished with one of those fabric baskets. I'll post the picture tomorrow.

In closing, I leave you a picture of Lily looking adorable.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Finishing and starting

Sorry I've been AWOL for a while. I've been busy at work and, after I get home, I don't want to sit in front of a computer. That has been a slight problem for the online class I am taking this semester. Hmm, should get on that. Anyway, I have been knitting, finishing and starting a lot during my slight blogging interim.

First up, a finished object! I finished the EMU shawl on Feb. 10th. It was a very fast knit and I enjoyed making it. The beads really make it look special. Too bad none of them really showed up in any of these pictures.

I might have mentioned that I was donating this shawl to a staff silent auction. I took it in on Tuesday. Ever since then, I've had so many people saying how much they liked it and how they were definitely going to bid on it. What I find funny is that this shawl isn't complex. Know what I mean? It is just a simple ktog or ssk and a yarn over pattern. Mom thought that I can't see how impressive it is because I have other ones that are more impressive to me. Because other people can't see the other shawls/stoles, they think this one is super impressive. I guess everything has a context.

Next up, finished afghan square!

I told you about the afghan a group on Ravelry is making for Terry Pratchett. This square is my contribution. It was influenced by the Tiffany Aching series. The sheep were really fun to make. I ended up duplicate stitching the black legs and faces on because I couldn't keep the tension even with three different colors. I sent it off on Friday to Scotland. Hope it make it there before the 29th (which is the deadline).

Next, a WIP. I'm on a fingerless glove jag. This one is the Princess Mitts from the Knitters Book of Yarn (though this is a free pattern online). I really have to get that book.

I just have to finish the thumb on the first glove and start the second one.

So instead, I started another pair. Good solution, huh?

The pattern was written for a DK weight yarn. This mitten is actually DK. The first one (the green one) is worsted so it is quite a bit bigger. I was going to give the multi-colored pair away as a gift but I think I like the yarn too much to give it away! The yarn came from a store in AZ that my aunt bought me a while ago when she was visiting there. It is Zitron Ecco and is knitting up sooooo well.

I've been working on a pair of alpaca socks for a friend. She is allergic to wool but wants warm socks. The Alpaca Sox yarn is wonderful to use but I think I need to go down a needle size. I've been making a pair of Monkey socks (top down, gasp) and it just isn't the fabric I want it to be. They might be frogged and started in a new pattern or, if I stay with the Monkey pattern, with a new needle size.

Other than that, I've been playing with stitch dictionaries and trying to find a stitch that I like for an alpaca neckwarmer. The alpaca yarn is a fingering weight and a natural brown. It came from a local farm. I haven't been happy yet with any of the stitches/needle sizes.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Meme and continuing with gray

Lisa tagged me with this meme/survey thingy.

4 Jobs I've Held:
plant waterer (or landscape manager if you want to be fancy)
village office intern
library intern

4 Movies I Watch Over and Over
Clue ("This is war, Peacock!")
The Italian Job (the new one)
Love Actually
Pride and Prejudice (the A&E series)

4 Places I Have Been
Germany (Bavaria mostly)

4 Places I Have Lived
England (Lancaster and London)
Gettysburg, PA
Granville, OH
(I'm kind of limited because I live where I grew up)

4 TV Shows I Watch
Pushing Daisies
Criminal Minds

4 People Who Email Me Regularly
Does chatting count? Carolyn
Another college friend
A friend from England because we are in a class together now
A riding friend

4 Favorite Foods
Lamb Curry (but it has to have proper lamb! The stuff around here doesn't cut it)
Thai anything (yum, spicy)
Chicken with Chinese peanut sauce over cucumbers (again, yum, spicy)
Pizza Cottage Pizza (great, now I have to order that for lunch!)

4 Places I Would Rather Be:

4 Things I'm Looking Forward to:
The end of my masters so I can have free time!!!!!
Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival
Buying my own spinning wheel
Summer so I can ride more

I'm not going to tag anyone so if you want to do this meme, copy and paste it in your own blog and leave a comment telling me that you did. :)

I heard yesterday that a knitting friend is having a medical scare. I wanted to give her something to give comfort so I took the Majestic Mountains stole to the knitting shop yesterday. It was going to be a mother's day gift for mom but I'll just make her something else.

In other knitting news, the body of my EMU shawl is finished and I am working on the border. Last night, I did a swatch of the border to figure out where I wanted the beads to go. These are the beads I used for the MS3. I really like the way that the gunmetal gray go with the gray of the yarn.

The border is going rather quickly so I'm hoping to have this finished really soon! The pattern is a perfect quick knit that doesn't require much counting or brainpower. Unlike the other version I made of the Shoulder Shawl in Syrian Pattern, I don't have to worry about running out of yarn with this one!

Monday, February 04, 2008

A gray day

I've been working on a lot of gray lace recently. So it seems to be appropriate to show you pictures of it on such a gray day.

Here is the Majestic Mountains stole lounging by the window with Lily. She loves sitting on the back of the sofa while peering out at the birds and squirrels.

Here it is in blob form right before blocking.

And behold! The power of blocking! It actually looks like something!

I blocked the stole out this morning before I left for work. I can't wait to take it off of the blocking wires and weave in the ends! If I had blocked it yesterday, the entire stole would have taken me exactly 3 weeks to make. As it is, 3 weeks and one day isn't bad at all.

I still had copious amounts of yarn left after finishing this stole up. You would have thought 2 stoles would have put a larger dent in the amount but it hasn't! I'm going to have more than enough for another Shoulder Shawl in Syrian Pattern from Victorian Lace Today.

I weighed the other one that I did and, if it takes the same amount of lace, the neverending yarn ball will still be over an ounce! This might call for making the shawl bigger. Then I might even have to make a scarf. I'm going to use up the gunmetal beads from the Mystery Stole on the border. I should have enough left to give it a little bit of sparkle.

I'm calling this my EMU shawl because I'm making it for the Employee Morale Unit silent auction at work. This might seem all generous and everything but it is really just because I don't think that many gray shawls/stoles are needed in one household!

Speaking of work, I started a new job on the 28th. We did all sorts of training last week. Today was the first official debut of the customer service desk. Things were a little interesting. Our department is a new creation and took over the existing desk and some of the existing duties of another department. Let's just say that they organized things a little differently before. We're going to have a lot of reorganizing to do so that it makes sense to everyone in the new department. I'm really, really happy about the new job!