31 January 2009

One sock finished

I finally finished the sock last night. It fits beautifully. I do wish though that the cuff wasn't that long, so the ribbing pattern could stand out more, but that's okay. The pattern is a bit plain, but for my first sock, it was good enough because I wanted to get in the swing of things first before making an elaborate sock. After I get though the projects that I've already started, I think that my next sock will be the Fawkes sock pattern since I need a Harry Potter fix.

18 January 2009

Purple Ribbed Socks

I managed to work on my purple socks a lot this weekend, and I'm about 1.5 inches from doing the toe. They are looking pretty good and they feel good too.

Wristlets - round two, part two

I finally finished the wristlets - hurray.

16 January 2009

Wristlets - round two

Here's the update on the wristlets. I managed to restart the first part and thankfully they are in the correct gauge. I didn't get very far today because I started rather late and am a bit tired, but yay - they will probably be finished this weekend "crossing my fingers." I am hoping to finish half of the project tomorrow and then cast on for the second half as well. We shall see how far I get though because I have to move into an apartment for school on Sunday, but I will be coming back home Sunday night. I think that I am only going to bring projects that I've started to school with me. I don't need any new tangents. At least if I get on a tangent with bringing only the projects that I have started, there will be some progress, instead of none. That way, when I finish these guys, I will have more room in my knitting baskets. I have three baskets that are bulging right now with yarn.

Purple Socks - Off the beaten path

After having to frog basically half of my project yesterday, I needed to take a break from the wristlets, so I picked up my purple socks again. I probably only got 20 or so rows into the project from where I started off, but it is looking nice so far. For my first sock ever, thus off the beaten path, it was a good one. The thing that I don't like about it though is the 2 inch cuff (k,p), I think that it looks rather funny with the 4x2 ribbing. But like I said, this is my first pair of socks, ever, so it was an easy pattern, but still had some texture to it. I think that when I first started this project, I had to knit so many swatches to find the correct gauge. Of course that happens with every pattern of mine. I tend to have a tighter gauge than "normal," so the beginning of each project is a pain. Often times I'll have to have my mother cast on because her gauge is looser, especially if I'm casting onto circular needles. For example, I tried casting on for my Irish hiking scarf, but oh my gosh, I was too tight that I couldn't even move the stitches around. I read somewhere though, I think it was from my stitch-n-bitch day calendar (from 2008) that if you tend to knit a tight gauge, then cast on over two needles instead of the one. I think that I may have to try that. Speaking of gauge, mine used to be so much worse when I started to knit (back when I was 9). My first project was a scarf (would not recommend as a first project when you are a kid - takes too long, which is why I didn't knit until I was 18) and I would knit so tight that I couldn't even get the needles through the stitch. My hands would get so sweaty that I'd have to keep on washing my needles, so the yarn wouldn't get all nasty (wooden needles are the best - I will not use metal needles if I can't help it). Now my gauge is loose enough where I can stick my needle through, and just right in some cases. With my U-neck, I wish it was looser, especially with the body of the vest, but oh well. Nice tangent, yes, but anyways, this is my sock thus far.

15 January 2009

Blue Wristlets - Christmas Gift ... past due

Okay, so it has literally been six months since I've knitted a different project other than my Irish Hiking Scarf, which means that is has been six months since I've knitted a wristlet. I never did write down which needles that I've used for the project. So when I started the blue wristlets tonight, I used size 10 dpn, but from comparing it to my wristlets, my guess was wrong. I was seriously 20 rows from being done with one wristlet... man, I'm a little frustrated right now. What I should have done was grabbed different sizes of dpns and placed it through my previous project to see which size was right. Oh my, oh well - I will start again tomorrow. Now I know what size I used for dpns: size 7 (Berkshire Yarn).

Newbury Yarns, 164 Newbury St, Boston, MA

Christmas night, I left for Boston and was there for a week. While being back in the US and not having been to a good yarn shop in a really long time, I decided to check out the LYS in Boston. There were a few shops in Boston, but two were close to the Sheraton Hotel that I was staying at (34 Dalton). Newbury street is a really cute street with a gorgeous facade and while I was there, I went to Newbury Yarns. I had asked for the sweater patterns, but didn't find any in the binder or the magazines. On the table, however, there was this beautiful fair aisle sweater and I asked the owner if she had the pattern. The lady said no, she made the pattern up, but it came from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Book, The Opinionated Knitter. I was up for the challenge, so I bought the book, and yarn for the sweater. The yarn company is Briggs and Little, which is out of New Brunswick, Canada and is the oldest woollen mill in Canada. Regal was the yarn I purchased, which is a 2 Ply 100% pure wool and I got 4 skeins of Plum, 1 skein of (Sage, Black, Bleached White, Rose, and Blue BW). This type of pattern is new to me, but I am ready to increase my knitting horizons/skills. I would say that I am a pretty good knitter, but this may be a challenge, which is all right.

In addition to the sweater pattern, I found some sock yarn that I really liked: Jojoland Melody Superwash (color MS12), which is 100% wool and has 220 yards. I bought two of this color and didn't know what sock pattern to make, but after looking in Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks book, I think that I may make the Open Rib Six-Stitch Pattern (p.48).

Christmas Gift

For Christmas, I ended up getting 10 balls of Berroco Mohair Classic, color 7903/Violet - now discontinued. The yarn has a lovely texture to it, but I'm wondering if the Violet will be a bit too much. Do not get me wrong, purple is my most favorite color, I mean, my bedroom walls are painted two different shades of purple, I have purple curtains, and my favorite quilt is purple. It should be lovely knitted out though. I have a binder of printed off patterns that and my mom went through it and purchased this yarn for the Donna Sweater. I think that the sweater will look beautiful no matter what - it reminds me of the type where you sit in a comfortable chair with a blanket, hot chocolate, a cat sitting on your lap, reading next to the fire kind of sweater. Anyways, I like it.

Polish Yarn

Near school, there were three knitting shops, but I only went to two (Poland doesn't have much of a natural fiber collection, so I didn't go to the shops often). The shops weren't homey like the ones here. Anyways, during my last week and a half in Krakow, I went to the better of the two that I popped my head in and found 100% Wool yarn (Merinos) that is made in Czestochowa, Poland - where the Black Madonna is. The company that makes the yarn is Inter-Fox. I bought four balls of the charcoal yarn and have no idea what to make out of it, except I want to make a scarf. I have no idea of how many yards/meters that it has, nor do I know the gauge or what needle size to use. I'll figure it out though. When I bought the yarn, it actually smelt like the barn, but now that it has been at home airing, it is starting to smell better. After completing my project, I will have to wash it before wearing it.

14 January 2009

Let's Start With Something That I've Started

I have tons of yarn to showcase, but let's start with something that I have started. This yarn is not new to the lot, but it is a new project. After doing the U-neck Vest, I still had leftover Cascade 220 (approximately 1.75 skeins) and decided to make a scarf. Note: Knitted on size 8 circular needles. I had a tough time deciding on a pattern because there are many lovely scarf patterns out there, except I needed something that wasn't going to be so hard because I was taking it to Europe with me (I went to Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, and Poland where I resided during this past semester). I didn't want something too simple, but I wanted something with lovely cables to show off the possibilities this yarn has with texture. In the end, I chose the Irish Hiking Scarf, but the pattern was modified to add in a 4th cable, instead of the original 3 cables (modified pattern below). On the plane, I only had the cast on and I didn't work on the scarf until about a month into my trip. During my trip, I did get a lot done, but didn't finish the scarf as I would have liked. I guess, why would I - I was in Europe for 4 months. I mostly worked on the project when the "lovely group" that I was with went off on lovely drinking excursions where they got hammered (this happened a lot - the getting hammered all of the time). I did not enjoy the group that I was with, but fortunately enough I had a great roommate even though we did not hang out. I did make some friends who are still in Poland and I have to finish their postcards before my winter break ends. I am pleased with how it is looking thus far, but I am putting it aside and am going to work on something else for a bit.

The thing is, I work on a project for so long and then it's time for a change, I need to start or finish something else that I've started previously. It's like I have knitting ADD. I guess, as I have stated previously, I like to change things up for a bit (maybe that's why I have so many unfinished projects...humm, I wonder - ha). On the other hand, if this was the only project you had available to you for 4 months, wouldn't you want to change things up too?

Modified Irish Scarf Pattern:

Row 1: K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2
Row 2: K4, P2, K6, P2, K2, P2, K6, P2, K2, P2, K6, P2, K2, P2, K6, P2, K4
Row 8: K4, P2, C6F, P2, K2, P2, C6F, P2, K2, P2, C6F, P2, K2, P2, C6F, P2, K4