Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

I'm heading out the door, so here's a progress shot on my Jaywalkers:

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Years Knit-olutions

Can you believe it's almost 2006? Here is a recap of 2005, thanks to my blogging buddy Dr. Charles and Yahoo News.

What are your resolutions for 2006?

Mine are simple:
1. Get back on track (pun intended) with diet and exercise
2. Make a valiant effort to get into the office on time. Really, I mean it.
3. Try harder to see and stay in touch with friends who live far away.
4. Knit smaller, simpler things, ie socks.

Exhibit A:

I am doing it! FINALLY. Getting over the fear of socks. And small needles. I received size 0 and 1 DPNs from my in-laws for Christmas, and I'm gonna use them! I'm starting a pair of Jaywalkers (so I can be as cool as everyone else who has completed them!) with my Vesper in the Knit and Tonic Colorway. AND using my new ball winder and swift - Christmas presents from my hubby!

I've also decided to get back in knitting sweaters - the Phildar sweaters are on the back seat to Angelica. A while back Yahaira twisted my arm to join, so here I am! I bought Plymouth Suri Merino (an alpaca merino blend) for this, but my gauge isn't quite on yet...

Ah, it's good to be knitting for myself again!. I know that sounds selfish, but after 9 holiday gifts - 2 of which are still not complete - I need to keep myself sane by looking forward to wearing something I knit. Anyone else feel that way?

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR! More blogging in 2006!

A little game of holiday catch-up!

Wow, I haven't posted since before Christmas! It was such a busy week! I am happy to say that I have completed many projects in the past week, and have a whole lot more on the way. Here's my photographic account of the holiday - mostly knitting (so as not to bore anyone with too much plot, we'll get straight to the action scenes):

FOs - hats: Black cashmere Irish Walking Hat For Furry's cousin, made from old poncho.
And this one - Hothead from SNB made with Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande for Uncle Nick (I made the same one in green for my dad, but didn't have time to photograph it!)

FOs: Scarves

This is the finished (pre-blocked) snowflake illusion scarf in DB Alpaca Silk for my MIL. She is so excited to wear it so she can ask everyone she knows if they can see the snowflakes...hee hee!

You've all seen the pics of the Noro Crapotee for my SIL, so I'm not reposting them now :)

Here's the finished lace leaf scarf from VK for mom with Brooks Farm Harmony. I worked on it until 3am Christmas Eve (and STILL didn't finish in time!) - here's proof...

I'm knitting at Christmas Eve dinner at Furry's aunt's house while opening presents with my MIL **and, no I'm not flipping off the to blow up photo**

BTW - if you noticed, they do have WAYYYY too many teddy bears:

One even attacked my FIL!

Christmas day, I cooked for 8 people, and well, didn't have time to take any pics except this one: DESSERT. Click to see the details of all the yummy desserts. I'm so proud! More later!
Christmas stuff 060

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Just a little HELLO!

I have been so busy with knitting holiday things and house hunting (Oh - have I forgotten to mention that?) that I have not gotten around to saying HELLO to the spiders! I have been accepted to the circle - and wanted to acknowledge! I added you all to my blogroll, so I can keep up. I haven't made it into NYC in a while, so as soon as I do, after the holidays, I'll introduce myself :)

6 more knitting days till Christmas...and another open house at 1pm!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Camera's Going on Vacation for the Holidays

This will be my last post with digital photos taken of my holiday knitting, or anything else for that matter until after the new year. My camera is going to Cambodia! Unfortunately, I'm not going to Cambodia...but my wonderful husband is lending our digi to a friend. So if you lucky readers are, well, may get to see the beautiful Asian countryside in '06.

Now, onto the knitting content.

I'm still considerably overwhelmed by the pile of still unfinished holiday knitting, but here's a start. I have succeeded in turning this hat:

Into THIS hat:See the difference? Whadda ya mean no? I added a flip-up brim (like a flip-top head!) for my MIL. I like it better this way, I think I may make all my hats with a flip-up brim!

I'm also just beginning the Snowflake Illusion Scarf to go with the hat - or a version of it in Debbie Bliss alpaca silk. Yum.

Here we have the mini clapo-twins. The one on the left is the one I made for myself with Diaketo Diamusee. The one on the right in Noro Kureyon is blocking, and will be packaged up tomorrow for my SIL. The Diaketo is a lighter, slightly softer yarn than the Kureyon, but the colors in the Noro are a bit more predictable, and the stripes are wider. Like em both, though I do.

For all you Vesper junkies, I still have not attempted the illustrious art of knitting socks, but instead decided to use one of my skeins to tackle a pair of gloves for my fiend Jess (hi Jess!) Not mittens, or wrist warmers, or fingerless gloves, but GLOVES! Here's some progress. 6.5 fingers left to go...Although Vesper is self striping, if left to its own devices, the fingers would be solid orange. So I needed to do a bit of cut-and-paste to equalize the stripes on the fingers...Ok it's not perfect, but I'm proud, since I loathed DPNs before I started this, and now I feel quite adept at juggling 4 needles at once. Progress takes practice.

Well, that's the show and tell part of this program. I'll be here, but in words alone until the 1st of the year!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Finally, a Holiday FO...

I finished the Irish Hiking Scarf for Furry today. I'm happy to have one Christmas knitting project finished...but so many more to go!

Irish Hiking Scarf
Started: 11/19
Finished: 12/8
Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Alpaca in Kentucky Teal
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 circs
Dimensions: 58" long by 4.5" wide (unstretched)

So, in addition to the pile o' stuff I'm working on, I've decided to turn this:

into this:
Christmas stuff 023
Going into 2006, who needs a poncho? Ponchos are icky. These balls of merino/cashmere blend belong as Glampyre's Bulky Cabled Cardi, or some hats for gifts. The yarn is really black, the pics are deceiving. I liked the poncho last year, but I just can't bring myself to wear one (well I really can't now that it's frogged!)

Aahh the sweet release of Baaaad knitting projects....
Up next:
Remainder of the clap for SIL
Most of the Lace Lead Scarf for Mom
Hats a plenty for the boys
and a scarf (I can't seem to load the pics) for my time I guess.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Must. Make. This. NOW!

I know you all know the new knitty is up. I'm always the last one on the bandwagon. But, I viewed this issue differently than the way I normally view knitty. Typically I like a few patterns at first glance, think about which one to make first, since they're free think to myself that I can't pass up a FREE pattern... NOT this time. This time, I am DROOLING over a pattern. It's this one.

Remember the good old Secret Pal quiz question, "are you a yarn snob?" I think I need to change my answer to a resounding YES!!!!! The Joseph Galler Pashmina this pattern calls for is $55 a ball! OUCH!

Luckily, I have a friend in Portland, who is willing to pick me up one from her LYS. Like the pattern's namesake, she automatically becomes my best friend.

When to find time for this knit? Between the Clap and the lace leaf scarf and the IHS and the 50 million hats. But before New Years. That's when.

Oh - and for those of you who commented about my Christmas tree falling over, calm is exactly what I wasn't on Saturday! Here's the scene. DH, MIL, SIL and I are ready to go out to dinner after a long day of shopping and errands around 9pm.

Julsey runs around looking for shoes, purse, glasses, keys, etc, SIL sits calmly on couch, DH, MIA

MIL (frozen in tracks) OH MY GOD!!!!

(tree falls towards the glass dining room table)

Julsey (also frozen in tracks) AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

(finally realizes she should be catching it runs across the living room)

MIL, SIL, Julsey run for paper towels to catch water that is running in every direction, DH emerges from (where?)

Gang furiously cleans the floor, fixes the lights, dumps the tree skirt in the bathtub and heads out for sushi.

Sushi...mmmm....gotta eat now.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Holiday Knitting and our Tree!

Can you believe it? We have a Christmas tree already! Here's a tutorial on how to make one of your own:

Take one green tree (species unknown),
Tree Before

add some cartoon characters who wanna party,
Christmas stuff

and you get one big happy Christmas tree!
Christmas stuff 010
Then it fell over. Oh well onto knitting content!

So, 21 days left till Christmas and no FO's yet to speak of! Here's the progress on the mini Noro Crapotee for my SIL:
Christmas stuff 014

And a closeup. Noro CrapoteeI can't wait to finish MANY of you know, this pattern isn't very enthralling. Add that it's my second one, and the ho-hum factor is doubled. At least the yarn keeps me on my toes - the variegations are so unpredictable that it's keeping me from wrapping this one in a pretty gold box while it's still on the needles!

I'm going to borrow a technique from blogger Fig and Plum. STASH BOXES!!! Click and ye shall find more details on the yarn allotted for Christmas knitting and other unidentified projects.
Stash Box #1 Stash Box #2
Oh well, back to knitting or I'll never finish anything!


Monday, November 28, 2005

A new and exciting contest!

Keohinani started a contest called "You know you knit too much when"...Here's my entry (thought I'd share it with you all as well!) If you want to join, the contest ends 11/30!

You know you knit too much when you can sing the "12 Days of Christmas" to the knitting related items perpetually atop your coffee table (I really do live like this!):

12 plastic stitch markers
11 sheep gift tags
10 pieces of scrap yarn
9 patterns in the queue
8 balls of Noro
7 WIPs "on the needles"
6 Trendsetter labels
5 Clover circs
4 skeins of handpainted boucle
3 distracting items (subway drink, cell phone, Visine)
2 of DH's sock-ed feet*
and a calendar of the LYS's December activities!

*not handknit socks - he just came from the gym - I hope that's not a disqualifier!

In addition, I changed my mind for the gift for my SIL - she's getting a Crap-o-tee mini made of good ol Noro Kureyon 153. I love it - I want to keep it for myself! More WIP pics later...oh and I added the Reversible Winter Capelet pattern to my sidebar (all you craftsters know it as the "Anthropologie-inspired capelet". I changed the name, just in case :)

My oldest friend Debbie is PG, and I'm going to make a Grumpecue for her baby. Thanks for this great pattern revise, Grumperina! I ordered the hard-to-find Oat Couture Curlicue pattern from Angelika's Yarn Store. Once Deb has her BIG ultrasound, I can buy the correct colors of yarn to match the boy or girl bedding they've chosen.

Well, enough of this chatter. Back to holiday knitting!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving's Over...You know what that means!

It's the official start of the "holiday season" (read as the overabundance of Christmas songs, lights, gadgets, scented things, bad sales, half-dead trees, cold weather, TRAFFIC, CROWDS, and allover CHAOS!!!). But, I'm happy as a clam.

I've got a ton of knitting projects started and planned for Christmas gifts...That means the only store I need to go to is the LYS!

Here's the stash I've amassed over the year so I don't have much to buy (I'm so proud! The balls and skeins are like my children or something...creepy, I know.)

Here's the list (with photos where appropriate!):

Mom: Lace Leaves Scarf from Fall VK
Brooks Farm Harmony
In stash/on needles

Furry: Irish Hiking Scarf (and hat?)
Inca Alpaca
In stash/on needles

SIL: Mousse Shawl (Although I'm not loving this pattern for this yarn - any other ideas for boucle yarn?)
Blue Ridge Handpainted Mohair Boucle
In stash - on needles

Dad: Ribbed or Cabled Hat
Uncle Nick: same idea
Dee: same again...damn I'm boring!
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande
Most in stash...

Kestly: Reversible Winter Capelet
Rowan Polar
In stash
(You've seen this before!)

MIL: Updated hat to add a brim (from last year's Christmas!) and matching scarf (pattern tbd)
Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk
Need to buy 4-5 more balls

Jess: Something with Vesper? I love Vesper! I just ordered a 3rd skein from kpixie - in the knit and tonic colorway!

Dennis: Another Irish Hiking Scarf?
Inca Alpaca? Something heavier?
Need to buy.

In other news...I picked up these sweet treats from the store at Piddleloop! How awesome are they? All my knitted gifts will get a custom tag! I'm trying to figure out who to give the pouches to...I just *heart* them!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Decisions Decisions...

So, should I continue working on the Irish Hiking Scarf for Furry...or should I consult Cooking Light for a recipe for the potato bread stuffing???

Irish Thanksgiving Scarf 004

Going to see Harry Potter tonite!!! I can't wait!!! Must go shower now!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Home sick today

So I figured I'd catch up on some overdue blogging! My knottie friends got married this weekend! It's about time they can now become nesties!...We're so happy for them, but not as happy as we were eating mini cannolis...

In other news, I started the Lace Leaf Scarf for Mom. I feel guilty giving her this as a Christmas present since she bought the yarn herself at the NYS Sheep & Wool. It's Brooks Farm Harmony in browns that remind me of my hair...I'm sure nobody else sees it but me.

Here is the first repeat and a half with and without the flash - it's hard to see the pattern with the flash, but the color is truer than without.

Not much progress made on Colchique or Tendances. In fact, Tendances had it's first trip to the frog pond...never to return. Damn, I need a ball winder!

I'll leave you, my law abiding Jersey drivers, with this, your "Moment of Zen" with credit to the Barista:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anthropologie-inspired Capelet - FO and Tutorial!

Here are some photos of my interpretation of Anthropologie's First Frost Capelet, and the pattern. It's really easy (I completed it in a few hours).

I used 1 ½ balls of Rowan Polar on size 11 needles. (gauge = 12 st and 16 rows over 4”)

CO 49 st (this makes a S-M with 16" neckline - I'm not good enough to do sizes!)*
*For exact sizing, measure around your neck at the collarbone, and multiply the gauge (per
inch!) by that measurement. If that number is even, add one st to get your CO amount.

Knit in 1 x 1 rib for 2 inches to create neckline

Raglan Increases: (you will need 4 stitch markers to separate the body into 5 sections: left front, left sleeve, back, right sleeve, right front)

Row 1 (RS): k2, p6, yo, pm, p1, yo, p7, yo, pm, p1, yo, p15, yo, pm, p1, yo,
p7, yo, pm, p1, yo, p6, k2 (57 st total, 8 have been increased)
Row 2 and all WS rows: knit all stitches
Row 3 and all RS rows: k2, *p to next marker, yo, sl marker, p1, yo* repeat from * 3 more times, p until last 2 st, k2
Continue raglan increases until sleeve measures the circumference of your upper arm.
End with a WS row.

Split sleeves and body:
RS: k2, p to 1st marker, move all st from 1st to 2nd marker onto scrap yarn (right sleeve). P to 3rd marker. Move all st from 3rd to 4th marker onto another piece of scrap yarn (left sleeve). P to last 2 st, k2.
WS: Knit all st
Continue in reverse stockinette stitch for 4 more rows (with k2 at each edge of the row)
Switch to 1 x 1 rib, for 5 rows. BO all st

Pick up all st, one sleeve at a time from scrap yarn.
Work back and forth in 1 x 1 rib for 5 rows.
BO all st
Seam ribbing on sleeves

That’s it, you’re done! This is easy, I swear!
Finish with a pin at the neck, or sew a button on, whatever you want! The other cool thing about this, is it’s reversible! I like the reverse st side better, it’s more vintage looking.

ETA: Corrected stitch count, added ways to fit to your body, 8/1/08.

Here are some detail shots:

It's back! But not for long.

If there's any left, it's yours, if you want it :) Consider this your tip off...If you think you know what I mean (or are burning with curiosity), click here.

Edit: OMG, I have to have one of these! How cute are they?

Edit #2: They're gone...if you're looking now, you missed it. Vesper was around for a short time...I snagged one in tartan... Now, who's gonna teach me sock knitting???

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Secret Pal and some progress shots

First, I'd like to say THANK YOU!!! to my secret pal. A package came for me yesterday incuding "At Knit's End" by the Yarn Harlot, 2 balls of italian merino (yum!), and a cute card! I'm going to use the yarn for some fingerless gloves, I think...or a Winter Femme hat! THANKS!! In other yarn-related news, I saw this post trying to recreate an Anthropologie capelet on Craftster, and thought I'd give it a try. Here's my progress. I'm using the last 3 balls of Rowan Polar from my stash. I think it's coming out really well! I'll post a tutorial once it's complete.Lastly, I MUST leave you now to do some laundry. Do you think Niblet's trying to tell me something????

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blackberry c'est fini and the 2 French girls are Phriends

I must appear to be all knitting, all the time...but really it's the only thing I enjoy sharing with the world. You don't care to listen to my day about attending lectures on chemotherapy research in I'll cut to the chase (see I got to vent anyway!) Blackberry is done! Ok, so I still need to weave in the ends, so I can't really wear it yet. I'm not gonna do that "started on" "finished on" thing...cuz I don't measure my projects in time it takes me to do them...or I'd be really depressed about just how slow a knitter I am. I will give the stats though:

6 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino superchunky in Grape on size 10 1/2 needles. Mods I made:

  • The WHOLE thing is in stockinette stitch, vs reverse.
  • Kept the cables and skipped the bumpy bobbles.
  • Shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length (I may lengthen them a bit...if I can find 10 1/2 DPNs)
  • I did a whole lot of extra ribbing, because, well, even after immense blocking, the pieces were still not quite the right height. My row gague was off, but I figured...ahh F* it! I'll just do lots of ribbing. And that's exactly what I did :)
I am not really sure Blackberry's going to get much wear - it's actually kind of tight. And, in true shrug style, it shows off my "assets". In other words, my GUT. Why, oh why do I insist on knitting shrugs?

That brings me to the next topic. When one door closes, another opens (how do you say door in French?) I'm going to call Colchique and Tendances "the sisters", since I'm working on them both together.Smilarities between the sisters:

  1. Neither is a shrug. (read as "both will cover my gut".)
  2. Both are wonderful Phildar patterns with KALs and French speaking knitters to help us translate them.
  3. They love to be photographed together
  4. Cats love them.
  5. Furry loves them.
  6. I want to leave work on time to knit them.

There, now I feel better.