Friday, December 30, 2005

A Surprise Christmas Gift

Lookie at what I got in the mail yesterday!!!!


A beautiful piece of art knitted by Carissa sent all the way from Canada as a Christmas gift.

It is stunning. I'm not sure if a non knitter appriciates the work as much as a knitter, especially a knitter who struggles with lace. It's just perfect. I love the colors, the pattern and the effort and time that Carissa put into it.

That's all I'm blogging about today so we can all admire my beautiful new lace shawl knit by Carissa!!! Thanks so much Carissa! I will treasure it!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Stash

Spent some time yesterday putting together my new shelving units and rearranging my stash a bit.



Still some more organizing to do. I have to still tackle the UFO closets, and some of the yarn there will get moved to stash. Some also might go up on ebay.

One other bit of organizing was done yesterday. I started a list. An unrealistic list of things I want to get done in 2006... but I think it may end up being just a WIP/UFO page. I'll probably add some thumbnails to it as I clean up the UFO closets.

Actual knitting content: I finished the left front on the Lasso Gansey, but decided the armholes were way too deep, so I frogged back a bit and I'm re-doing the neck shaping.

The page is up for the Selfish Challenge Knitalong! Just leave a tag if you want to join in! All you have to do is knit something for yourself! We're going to start January 1 and we're planning on a 2 month Challenge this time! So pull out that FLAK KAL or the Am Kamin or what ever else you'll be working on for yourself! It's all about us, baby!

Well, lots to do (including a little game playing). Happy Knitting!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

new camera means more pictures, right?

nope, not today... too busy!

Matt got me a boatload of stackable cube shelving for Christmas and I'm busy playing sorting and organizing my stash. Yum!

As I said, Matt's on vacation this week, and that keeps me a lot busier with chore type stuff (truck inspection, stash organization, etc). I am getting some knitting done. I'm plugging away on the Lasso Gansey. Love love love this pattern. I've got a huge weakness for basketweave stitches and I'm loving the Merino Style DK from Knitpicks. I'm right on gauge (I'm going to use it more as a substitute for 5ply gansey yarn. Pretty color selection and it's much softer... yes, I know it won't be as durable, but I don't care!!!).

Okay, I lied... here's a picture of it. It's just too pretty not to show!


Well, back to some stash playing organizing!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas!

Well, okay, so I'm a day late, but I was under deadline...

I finished the Second Matt Vest in time for Christmas and I'm pretty happy with it (but not as much as Matt is. He loves it).

Quick project details on this one:
Pattern: a Paton's free pattern from several years ago that is no longer available.
Yarn: Encore in a taupe color (chosen specifically by Matt)
Needles: 5's and 7's (that's US size)
Changes to the pattern: I used a tubular cast on. I also used a tubular cast off for the armhole openings (but didn't like the way the neckline worked with it, so I used a standard cast off on the neckline). I changed the armhole decreases so that the opening was considerable larger. I still didn't make the armholes deep enough for Matt.
Problems with the pattern: well, apart from using the numbers for casting on and some measurements (and pattern set up), I didn't really use the pattern that much. I don't like the way the cable pattern starts at the bottom, but didn't realize that until I was already into the pattern (no chart).
Overall impression: this was an extremely fast knit (probably took about 3 weeks total to knit). Not bad for a free pattern and it's very Matt-esque. The yarn was a bit fuzzy to deal with, but I love the color (as does Matt) and he's very happy with it. If he's happy, then I'm happy.

We had a lovely quiet Christmas. It doesn't quite feel like I'm back to regular schedule yet, but I'm guessing that's because Matt's home this week. Sorta like a vacation for me too.

So that's the last finished project for 2005. Let's look ahead for what I'm hoping to get done in 2006!

Well, starting January 1st, I'll be hosting the Selfish Challenge KAL. The idea behind this one is that you have to make a project for yourself. You chose the project (and with the FLAK KAL on the Aranknit list, or the Am Kamin or any of the other KAL's out there you can even combine KAL's... or do a project that you've dreamed of for yourself!). The rules are very very simple. Chose a project to make for yourself, sign up on the Selfish Challenge tagboard and keep everyone posted on what the project is and how you're doing.

I'm not 100% sure what my project will be, but since I finished the Second Matt Vest, I've been working on the Lasso Gansey. (I've split for the armhole opening).

Here's some WIP's I'm hoping to get done this year:
  • Cropped Cardigan Redux
    Almost done with the first sleeve with just one more sleeve to go...

  • Spring Forward Cardigan
    The upper body is done, so I just need to work the cardigan down to the bottom. I'm a little concerned about fit on this, which is probably why it stalled.

  • Marilyn
    I've got a bit to go on this one. The hard part is done (setting up those patterns!) and it's just a matter of knitting at this point.

  • Skygge Jakke
    I'm almost done with the back "square". Still a lot to go on this one and it's on small needles! However, it's a fun knit so I do think I'll get into a groove with this one once I pick it back up

  • Lasso Gansey
    Still a lot to go on this one (and also on small needles). The basketweave pattern is a bit addictive, and since I've split for the armholes, it feels like it's going quickly.

That's the "started" list of things I want to concentrate on right now. I've got so many other things in the closet that I'm going to have to catalogue and decide if I'm going to finish or frog. I also have a bunch of stuff that I want to cast on.

Well, that's about it for now. I will be doing a little house cleaning on the stash/UFO closets soon (got me some nice cubed shelves for Christmas to help me get organized! and a new camera so I'll be updating the UFO page soon!)

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!!!
Happy Knitting!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Year In Review Part II

The update on the Second Matt Vest is limited. I'm past the armhole decreases and so I just have to knit moss stitch until the shoulder shaping. Not much was done yesterday thanks to not feeling well, so I've got a lot to make up today.

Back to the projects from 2005:

The Town Square Jacket by Melissa Leapman (from Cast On magazine). A fast project and it's comfy. I wear it around the house a lot. I do wish I had made it just a little longer. However, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.



The Fair Isle Tote Bags. One for me and one for my MIL. Two big thumbs up on these. Fast, fun and practical. I don't do a lot of fair isle and these sort of wet my appetite! These kits were bought from Black Water Abbey yarns.



Note to self: need to get a better picture of this gem. I looooove this sweater. The Sampler Pullover in TLC's Heathers. I wear this ALL the time. It's comfortable, it's washable, I love the color, I love the stitches. Yummy. Only one complaint: the neck is just a bit high. The next one I'll make the neck a little deeper.

Now for one of the biggest projects finished:

The Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan. This is the second pattern I ever purchased as a new knitter. 13 years ago. I had an issue getting the crochet borders, so I ended up doing a selvege stitch on the edges of the blocks and that worked beautifully. I'm not thrilled with how it blocked, but I do think it turned out well. I do love doing sampler afghans! (you can see the individual blocks here)

Here's the last of the gallery projects: The Cable O's Vest.

This project is significant, as I had to fix a cable after the sweater was finished.

I'm still hoping to get one more project finished this year (the Second Matt Vest) and I still had a bunch of other finished projects that I didn't put in my gallery. The denim socks, the 5 baby sweaters I knit, the unknown number of Project Linus afghans and the Lucy bag for a charity auction.

Not bad. 2005 was probably my most productive year to date. Not only in volume, but in sucess. All of the projects that I made, with the exception of one, is getting a lot of wear. That's a good year. Let's toast to 2006 and hope that it's even more productive... but that's for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Year In Review Part I

I'm into the armhole shaping on the cabled front vest so I'm still on goal to get that baby done for Christmas. However, let's do a little project review of what I got done over the last year. I think it was a very productive year.

First up? The Cables 101 Vest. I feel a little guilty including this, as I finished in January 3, 2005, but I did finish it in 2005.

I will say that I loved the project. I loved the pattern. I loved the yarn. I love the way it turned out (and how it fits Matt). It fall into the catagory of top projects ever. I plan on doing an other one for Matt, but as a pullover.

The next one is up an other Janet Szabo design (um, get used to that...). The Cozy Shawl Collared Aran Pullover.

An other very successful project. A perfect weight sweater. I've already gotten a lot of wear out of this. It fits, it's comfortable and it was a great knit.

Wow, the next project I also was thrilled with! The Delicate Summer Jacket by Melissa Leapman.

This worked up FAST and again, a jacket that I've already gotten a lot of wear out. I did use cotton rather than lustersheen and the sleeves have gotten a smidgeon too long, but not enough for me not to wear it.

Hmmm, will the trend continue? That's three successful finished projects to start off the year...

Well, it didn't. Not that these next two were disasters, but they weren't at the level as those first 3.

The Cross Over Top. This didn't quite work for me. It's a little small and really not my taste. Overall, it's not bad and I do love the colors, but I find I'm not wearing it that much.

I'm also going to cheat a little here and include Suzanna. She's not officially finished, as I'm not happy with the zipper I put in. Just haven't taken the time to re do it. Overall, it was a good project, but I can't attest to how much I'll wear it, as I still need to fix the zipper.



So I think that's enough projects for today... Tomorrow, Part II.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On a roll...


My goal is to get to the armhole shaping by the end of today. I got a pretty good chunk done on the back yesterday. Nothing like waiting at the doctor's office or for Xrays! (still no work yet on if the thumb is broken and if the Xrays are inconclusive, he's off to get an MRI).

That's basically all I did yesterday. Good thing I love doing moss stitch. Actually, it's perfect TV watching knitting. I don't have to watch what I'm doing, no pattern to keep track of just knit/purl away.

I'm amazed when I sit in doctor's office how many people just sit there. Staring into space. Looking bored. Don't they know that they'll be sitting there? It's called a waiting room for a reason. I'm the only one in the office prepared. I brought knitting. I got a lot of knitting done.

So I'm still on track for finishing the vest before Christmas... with 5 days to go, no problem! Then onto the Selfish Challenge KAL!!! Woo-hoo. What shall I make for myself? Suggestions always welcomed (but not necessarily followed).

Monday, December 19, 2005

Only 6 more knitting days until Christmas and I'm ahead of the game. Theoretically, I am done, but I still hope to get this second vest done for Matt. The front is done and I've cast on the back. I hope to get to the armhome shaping by the end of the day Tuesday, finish the back by Thursday, and have it finished by Saturday. No problem.

However, if I don't get it done, it's still no big deal, as I did finish the Cable O's Vest. So it's a fun little self imposed deadline on myself, but it's not critical to have this project done by Christmas.

I did the tubular cast on for this project and I love it! It makes such a nice edge. I love doing the long tail cast on, as it's fast and easy, but I've always hated that solid line you get with it (unless you use the "purl" side as the right side). I'll also use the tubular cast off for it.

Thrown into my mix of Christmas knitting (okay, it wasn't a lot: one vest was the goal, then I added a second vest) is a baby gift. So I finished up the baby blanket that I had originally started for my vet (before I found out she decided to deliver 4 babies).

The Fuzzy Feet are almost done, but I've been concentrating on other projects. I'll get back to them after I finish the vest (or if I need a break from all that moss stitch).

Tomorrow I'm going to start a year in review of finished projects. A quick evaluation indicates that I had my most productive year for finished projects.

Sorry again for the lack of pictures. I'm off to get ready to sit in a doctor's office with my idiot husband, who doesn't see the danger in riding his bike on icy roads (and he's the lucky one... his thumb in probably only dislocated and it's actually doing pretty well... one of his riding buddies broke his pelvis on Saturday and an other broke his thumb). I guess it's a good thing that my obsession is an all season thing...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Master of My Own Knitting?

Okay, I must admit, I'm feeling very smug about my knitting right now. This is not ever a good idea. The Knitting Goddess gets most upset with you if you get smug. She'll whop you along the side of the head with a stupid mistake when you get too cocky.

Case in Point: Fuzzy Feet. Now if you can knit socks (yes, I don't normally knit them and socks are not my favorite thing to knit, but I can knit them) these are amazingly fast and easy to knit. So I should be able to crank out a pair pretty quickly.

This would be true if I hadn't forgotten to turn my heel! How in the world can I be knitting along with almost all of the insole done with out realizing that my heel hasn't been turned? So I've got to frog back to the heel flap and try again. Duh!

However, I am still floating in a world of knitting smugness, so I pulled out my great nemisis: Lace. I had started a Flower Basket Shawl a while back using a truely luscious yarn called Sensation (made by Naturally. It's a gorgeous 70% merino wool with 30% angora in a lovely "brick" color. Originally bought to make Matt gloves, but the color wasn't "manly" enough). So the Flower Basket Shawl is actually a simple lace pattern and using good size needles and worsted weight yarn makes it easier for me... let's just hope that the Knitting Goddess doesn't whack me along the side of the head with this one. I am loving the way it's turning out, but I still don't see me ever becoming addicted to lace knitting. Too much concentration. Give me a cable and some hardy wool and I'm happy person!

I did get some done on the second Matt vest. Still not done with the front, but I don't have much farther to go. Should be able to finish the front today, then that lovely moss stitch back.

Sorry there's no pictures today... it would just be of mistakes or what I had posted yesterday. So they'd be boring anyway.

Oh, and we're in single digits until Christmas! (that's 9 days to be exact!)

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Good Thing He Likes Vests...


I'm going to try to finish an other vest for Matt before Christmas. He bought his big Christmas gift (I bet you'll never guess what it is...) so I kept his gift buying to a minimum. So I want him to have some things to open, I'm going to try to get this done too (sadly, neither vest is a surprise).

I started this vest back in April (he picked out the yarn on my birthday yarn shopping trip) and I had this much done:


So it obviously knits up pretty quickly. I should have the front finished today, then just the back (which is nothing but the moss stitch).

I also stole was inspired by Tori's Fuzzy Feet. She's using LB Fisherman's Wool, then she's dyeing them with Kool Aid, then felting them. Hmmm, just what I need. I have the first one almost done (they are a fast knit). Like to get them done and felted to keep my toes warm soon!!! I'll probably still make a pair of the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. I made a pair for myself a couple of years ago and they finally wore out. This time I'll get the leather soles for them. I know the Fuzzy Feet wear out fast, but they're such a fast knit!.

So 10 days before Christmas! Ya, I think I can get a vest done by then....

(if you're bored and want to play with a fun cycling site, check out this)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I Dare Ya... I Double Dog Dare Ya...

Without looking at the previous posts, can you see where I performed surgery?

I did go back and re-do the graft yesterday afternoon, as something wasn't quite right (I realized that I had twisted a stitch).

Thanks everyone for the comments about my surgery! The patient is recovering nicely and we expect a full recovery!

I have to say that I am so pleased that I fixed it and that it turned out so well. I think Matt was scared to death... HA! I laugh in the face of his fear! I fear nothing (about knitting, that is... well, except maybe lace).

So I spent most of yesterday with the surgery and recovery. It's still pretty wet from the second blocking. I'm now in the "post project restlessness" phase. Again. I never seem to be able to concentrate after I finish something, and I've had to finish this baby twice.

I do have a baby blanket to finish up for a neighbor who is expecting to deliver with in the next few weeks. I need more yarn to finish the blanket. However, it's a wee bit cold (1F or -17C) and I really don't relish going out unless I absolutely have to...

So I'll browse more projects online that I have absolutely no business looking at instead of working on the projects that are sitting here waiting for me to finish. I could even get a jump start on the "Selfish Challenge KAL" for next month. Or work on my swatch for the Am Kamin.

Or just buy more yarn... heehee

Remember my mantra: Finish one, start two, buy yarn for three....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

That's Knitter with a Capital "K"


The mistake... a cable going the wrong way. Not noticed until the vest was blocked and sewn together.


The solution? A little surgery. A cut in a spot that I figured would be the easiest to graft. A safety string for the semi live stitches (the stitches "shouldn't" pullout in this direction, but let's be safe rather than sorry, eh?)


Pulled down to where the cables crossed the wrong way, put back on the needles.


Knit away, making sure the cables are going in the right direction.


Now I just have to graft the close the cut area. This wasn't as easy as I expected. I'm fairly comfortable grafting, until I realized that I had never grafted purl stitches. It took "several" atttemts (and a few choice "words").


The patient after the surgery is completed. Might be a little scarring, but I'm hoping that the sloppy looking stitches will block out. I did wet the area, but I think I'll do a complete soak and spin.

All in all, I do feel that I've moved from knitter to Knitter doing this. I also must admit that I probably wouldn't have bothered if a: it wasn't smack center front. b: wasn't a gift c: if I wasn't experienced grafting d: if I wasn't cocky (which is probably what got me the mistake in the first place).

So it can be done. I do think that performing surgery on wool would be easier, but all in all, I feel that it was worth the work and I'm much happier.

Well, I still have to weave in the ends from the cut and the grafting. Then a soak and spin before it gets wrapped an put under the tree.

oh, and there's only 12 days left til Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

$#@$%^

So I'm thrilled. The Cable O's Vest is completely done and I'm blocking as I write this. I took a picture this morning to show off this beauty and realized that I have one huge whopping cable going the wrong way.


How the hell didn't I see that before. Before I finished it. Before I blocked it. You can insert any possible curse word here, as I'm sure I said it.

Now for the fixing part. Matt says he can't see it at all. Well, I didn't notice it until this morning when I was taking pictures, so I'm sure that it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb, but I knew that something wasn't right. It just took me a while to figure out what it was.



So I'm not a happy person this morning to say the least. I'm going to let it dry (which is why the color is so uneven... some bits are dryer than other bits), then I'll be performing a little surgery to fix the wrong crossed cable. I've never done it before, and I'm not thrilled that I have to do it with cotton the first time out, but it will bother me every time he wears it (and he's already mentioned that this is his favorite project I've done for him so far...)

Anyway, I guess I can still give the Project Stats, right. It's more or less done and I just need to destoy cut and flip the cables.

Pattern Cable O's Vest by Janet Szabo. Available in the Twists & Turns Newsletter, issue Spring 2005.
Yarn Elann's Endless Summer Sonata (100% cotton)
Needles size 6 (4.0 mm) for main body, size 4 (3.5 mm) for ribbing
Changes to the pattern mainly only the yarn. The vest was designed using Cascade 220, but I thought it would look really great in cotton. It does (apart from the wrong turned cable). This made the project a bit more challenging, but I feel it was well worth it. I may have shortened the body a bit.
Problems with the pattern the only problem was by the knitter (see photo above). A great, well written pattern for a beautifully elegant vest that I know will get a lot of wear.

So overall, a thumbs up for the project. I have a bad taste about it right now, but that's purely my fault. I did make it a bit more challenging by using the cotton yarn, but the results were well worth it. Now just to fix my little mistake (which I think will be good for me... expand my destroying knitting skills).

Well, I did have some other things to talk about today, but we'll save them for an other day.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Concentration

So you would think I got a lot of ribbing done yesterday. I mean the vest is looking great and I would be all inspired to finish it and get it done so I wouldn't stress myself out trying to finish it before Christmas, right?

What? is this your first time visiting my blog? of course I didn't work on it at all yesterday.

I must admit part of it is the storm that arrived last night. I was smacked with a nasty sinus headache all day. The concentration that I need to pick up stitches (one of my least favorite things to do with knitting... right up there with weaving in ends) meant that it was simply out of the question.

So I was productive. I finished playing Psychonauts (third time) and I worked on a Project Linus blanket. I'm using the Caron Simply Soft Brights. It's a very cheery afghan. If it cheers me while I'm working on it, I only hope that the child that receives it will be as cheered. Oh and I made carmamel popcorn (which I had no business making and even less eating).

So like a lot of us, we're snowed in a bit today. It's not terrible, only about 5" right now and it's supposed to stop around noon. Enough that I don't need to go anywhere so I'll stay snuggled in and work on some projects... I guess that will include the vest. At least get the stitches picked up for the neck. Once that's done, the ribbing is easy, but oh how I hate picking up neck stitches.

So we're down to a 16 knitting days before Christmas. In some ways, that's actually not bad, in others, that's not a whole lot of time (especially if you have to count mailing into the equation).

Okay... let's see, if I pick up my stitches and set the ribbing pattern, I can then work on anything my little heart desires? Project Linus blankets or Marilyn or maybe start a pair of felted slippers?

Happy Knitting!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Final Stretch


Finally finished up the front on the Cable O's Vest. In fact, not only did I finish the knitting, but I wove in ends and I also have all but one seam done. Then it's just picking up some stitches and lots of ribbing. Still better than sleeves!!!

So no problem with this getting done before Christmas. Maybe even by next week? Then I'll treat myself to something new? Or maybe just something old.

I actually need to make myself a pair of slippers. It's gotten cold and my felted slippers finally wore out. Maybe I'll make a pair for myself for Christmas?

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

18 and Counting

Even though I didn't get the front done on the Cable O's Vest, I was productive with my Christmas stuff yesterday. And had a fine time doing it!

Went out for lunch and did a little shopping with my dear friend Betty and finished up the gift calendars. Also got all the gifts that need to be mailed wrapped and boxed.

So I'm out of procrastination projects, and now I have no excuse for not finishing the Cable O's Vest... well, except I'm easily distracted:


That's the Am Kamin in Elann's Peruvian Wool on size 6 needles. Not bad. The good thing about using this yarn is I know I have enough of it. I bought this the first time Elann offered it thinking I would design my own aran sweater with it, so I got lots so I could do a lot of swatching. Well, this sorta counts, right? I mean I basically have to do everything but do the charts. All the math and swatching will still need to be done.

However I still think the Paton's Classic Wool has crisper stitch definition:


That's the discontinued aubergine color (hmmm, see a certain color palette here?). I used size 5 needles for that swatch, but it's a little too tight, even for me. I did start a swatch with size 6 and I'm liking it much better, so I'm going to do a much larger swatch to give it a try.

Just as an FYI: the Cascade Key Largo didn't work well. The twisted stitches got lost.

However, I really really don't want to start something new. Really. I've got Marilyn just sitting here and I'm itching to work in it (hmmm, I think I need to expand my colors. Really). Plus I have a little knitting to finish before Christmas.

I think I need to hide the Japanese knitting patterns from myself... and the new Twists & Turns or I'll swatch for the Audra's Redux.

I'll do them next month, as the January Challenge will be for "selfish" projects. I figure we've all been concentrating on gifts for others that we absolutely need a selfish challenge! The rules are easy: you must work on a project for you. No gifts, no obligations... It's All About You, Baby!!!

Okay, we've got 18 days....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Misc Stuff

Lots to talk about today! First, I did get an email with an address for the Mason County Shelter for the dog sweaters. (someone reads me blog). So I spent yesterday finishing up the sweater so I can mail it out today:

Doesn't my model look happy? Well, he wasn't.

So that's washed and dried and will get mailed and I can move onto some other projects in the works. Like the Cable O's Vest, right? Well, not much was done on it yesterday, I still have few more rows to go. Still think I can get it done this week? Oh well, there's still 19 knitting days until Christmas :grin:

Well, I tried to get some pictures of some of the other projects floating around, but they didn't photograph too well. I'll have to hook up the scanner.

I think the Am Kamin is definitely going to be knit in Paton's Classic Wool in Aubergine. I'll scan my swatch in tomorrow. I really really don't need to start an other project.

Speaking of starting an other project, my winter issue of Twists & Turns arrived yesterday. Wow. Wowie! I really love the Forest Frost Aran, but I don't think I'll be making it. It's a beauty to just read the directions and process, but I'm not sure I have the dedication to do it. The Audra's Redux, however, is just up my alley. I sort of have a anticipation/dread thing with the Twists & Turns Newsletter. I can't wait for it to arrive, yet I know that everytime it shows up, I'll want to start a new project.

So I'm going out today shopping and lunching, but I still think I can finish up the Cable O's front (hey, didn't I say that yesterday???). I probably shouldn't have started playing Psychonauts again (Tim Shafer is a genius!)

So I'll leave you with a picture of Jake and his prefered method of keeping warm.

(let me also say that this is new... Jake didn't want anything to do with Gena at all for the first 2 years. He's gotten so much better and a lot less territorial with her recently). Knitting pictures tomorrow! I promise!!!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Too Lazy for Pictures (but a long post anyway?)


My copy arrived yesterday and I love it. The book has some very inspirational projects it in... and they must be inspirational, as I cannot knit the patterns as written (and not just because it's in japanese). The sizing is small. Very small, so I'll use the charts and the pictures and do my own pattern.

The one that everyone is talking about (which is actually called "Am Kamin" in the book) is lovely, but that doesn't even begin to cover the beauty in this book. There is not a dud anywhere. When was the last time you bought a knitting book where EVERY SINGLE PROJECT IS KNITABLE????

Anyway, apart from the obvious cabled sweaters in the book (the cover sweater is a must do... but I'm thinking top down and as a cardigan), it's the entrelac sweaters that are fascinating me the most. There's a sweater called "Poeme" that has an entrelac yoke. The size of the squares is how the yoke shaping is done. Brilliant (oh, and the other entrelac sweater shapes the sleeve the same way).

However, I'm still trying to get some much loved projects done that I've already started. I'll have the front of the Cable O's Vest done today and hopefully even get it seamed. I also put Marilyn into my project rotation again. For several reasons: I love the pattern and I want to get it done. Oh, and Beth Brown-Reinsel left a tag on the KAL tagboard (I love when the designer jumps into help with the KAL's. Janet Szabo was a big help on the SCA KAL).

So I worked a bit on it over the weekend, and decided to pull back a few rows. I changed one of the cables a bit (well, I just decided instead of bobbles, to just put in a moss stitch for one of the cables), and I didn't like my ratio of turning (charts? you mean there are charts in the pattern booklet? huh. Probably should read those once in a while). So I'm back in the groove again with it. (I love the Black Water Abbey yarn).

I think part of the inspiration is the KAL being planned on the Aran Knitlist. The list has a lot of new cable knitters so there's been a lot of questions and a lot of excitement about the project. I'm just not sure I can start an other major cabled project right now. Any money on whether I start it or not? Yeah, I'm sure you're right.

However, that didn't keep me from swatching the Am Kamin (ie: lost in translation). It needs a very smooth yarn to show the twisted stitches, that's for sure. Mary's been swatching for it and it's been interesting to follow her progress. However, since I need a 46" finished size, I'm leaning more towards worsted weight rather than DK. I tried the Peruvian Highland from Elann and the yarn is way too soft for a crisp stitch definition. I did pull out some Paton's Classic Wool from stash and I'm leaning towards it. I did it on size 5 needles (I want those stitches to pop), but I think I'll go up a needle size. I'll have to do a really large swatch (basically half the pattern) to get a good idea on sizing.

So lots to play with, lots to finish and the good news is that apart from finishing Matt's vest, I'm all set for Christmas. Well, my calendars need to be finished and mailed, but apart from that, I'm set. We put up our tree yesterday and I think that's all I'll do for decorating. Since Matt bought his new road bike this year and he's going to get a time trial bike soon, I don't have to do much for him. So lot's of time to work on projects (and play video games!)

Have a great Monday!!!
20 Knitting Days Until Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Time

When I quit working, I really expected that time would no longer be an issue. I thought I would have my whole day to work on my projects and I could just crank out project after project.

Time is an odd enity. It's a tangent measurement. 1 minutes is always 1 minute. There's no variable. However, our sense of time in not tangent. If fluxuates with our own sense of how fast it's going. Waiting at a stop light, time seems to slow down, yet when on a deadline, time moves way too fast. As I've gotten older, my general sense of time has changed. Days go by much faster, as do the weeks, months and years.

I'm not good at estimating time or how long something is going to take (which is ironinc, as I used to work as a production coordinator who's job was to decide how long a book would take to produce).

So I've finished up the dog sweater (except for buttons) and I looked at the Mason County web site to get the address to which I was going to mail it off... and it's gone. It looks like they no longer are looking for dog sweaters. There's no more pleas for them or an address on which to mail them off. So the sweater that I expected to take 3 days, but in fact took a week, took me much longer than I expected and now I'm too late. The dog sweater will go somewhere*, but I feel bad that I didn't get it done in time.


*It will not be here. I tried it on Jake and he just stood there shaking, scared to death that he had a sweater on. He obviously wasn't happy about it, and that's fine with me. I also now know that I won't be making one for him. He loves his afghans, but he's just not a sweater kind of guy.

Friday, December 02, 2005

This Party is Over

Last night our SnB group met at my house (and I was filled to capacity). Everyone brought something yummy to eat (and it was all yummy, I might add). We did a stash/UFO tour and a gift exchange. A great time. These ladies are my kind of guests, they bring their own food, set it up, then clean up before they leave. I had next to nothing to clean up after they left. You ladies are welcomed back anytime.

As for the actual knitting content? Well, the quick 3 day dog sweater has turned into a week long project. However, I'm sure I can finish it up today. I'm on the hindquarter shaping and it's going very quickly now.

Just so I have some pictures, here's my progress right now. (have you noticed how much more obvious different dye lots are in photos than in person. Since it's a dog sweater, and for warmth purposes only for the shelter dogs at Mason County, I don't mind, but it's really not that obvious in person. Really.)



So that's my main goal for today, and it's very doable. I'll need to track down some buttons (I'm sure I have some in my stash for this) then it's back to holiday knitting. Meaning the Cable O's Vest.

I hope to have the front done on the Cable O's Vest this weekend. Then I should be able to have it finished by the end of next week (well, since I completely underestimated how long the dog sweater took to make, who actually knows how long it's going to take?).

Well, off to finish the dog sweater! Happy Knitting!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another Day Without Pictures

This is going to be a quick post (yet everytime I say that I end up writing an epic novel). Our Stitch n Bitch group is meeting here tonight and I need to get things in order... one last vacuum of dog hair (not that it really matters. I vacuum, she sheds).

The new cooktop works just fine, but the heating elements work at a slightly different ratio, so I just to get used to how it heats.

The dog sweater is in the "no man's land"... no matter how much I knit, it's still about the same length. I'll be working on it tonight.

Then it's back to Matt's Cable O's Vest.

In other knitting news. Yes, I ordered "the" pattern book (and it's all Mary's fault, btw). I ordered it from the Amazon Japan site. I think it's shipped. Well, I got an email from them, but it was in Japanese. I did have to set up an account with Amazon Japan, but that was no big deal.

However, 2006 will be geared to finishing, not starting. I have a bunch of sweaters that I'm dying to get back to. The Spring Forward Cardigan, Marilyn, the Lasso Gansey, the Skygge Jakke and let's not forget Mermaid! Plus other's that are sitting in my one of my UFO closets that I'm just itching to work on!! All the more reason to finish up the Cable O's Vest so I can get back to some of these other things!!!

Well, off to shower and get ready for a knitting party!!!
(24 Knitting Days Until Christmas!!!)