Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quick and Satisfying

I've been knitting a lot of little projects these days, as you might expect. First of all, there are the socks -- which you'd also expect, given all the sock yarn scraps I have lying around.

Both of these are my Baby Ribs pattern. The pair on the left came first -- seeing as Rainbow is going to be born in the middle of football and hockey season, he or she just had to have a pair of black and gold socks. They're Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colorway Bee Stripe, knit with size 1/2.25 mm needles. On the right, some handspun superfine merino on size 0/2.0 mm needles. These have been good lunchtime knitting, as each sock takes only a couple of hours to knit.

Meanwhile, in the evenings, I've been working on another sweater. This one is a Sirdar pattern; I bought the booklet at Natural Stitches when I fell in love with the sample. There are several sweaters I want to make, but this adorable cabled cardigan with a shawl collar was the first one on the needles.


I'm using a slightly thicker yarn than called for and (shhh! don't tell anyone!) I didn't swatch, so my gauge is a little off and I'm having to wing the collar. I should have only a handful of rows left and with any luck will finish it up tonight!

I'm not quite sure what will be on the needles next, but whatever it is, it'll be coming with me to Hurricane Knitting tomorrow night, Waterworks Barnes & Noble starting at 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

If It Ain't Broke ...

I know it isn't Sunday, but I have a new yarn to share with you (and my hormone-addled brain might forget it altogether if I left it until Sunday). This is yet another All Spun Up superwash merino that looked like this before:

As usual, I went for a traditional three ply in a fingering weight (I'm starting to think that I can spin this kind of yarn in my sleep). My 4.3 ounces of fiber yielded approximately 390 yards.

The color is more accurate in the picture of the fiber; the finished yarn is really more pinkish red than orange.

As much as I love my three-ply sock yarn, I think I've been getting into a little bit of a rut in my spinning because of it, so I've signed up for the Tour de Fleece with the specific goal of spinning some yarns that aren't sock yarns. I'm thinking some heavier weight singles or two plies. I still have a little more than a week until the Tour starts, however, so I'm trying to get in one more three ply in -- surprise! -- ASU superwash merino, this one:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tiny Bubbles

The Mister and I would like to thank all of you for your congratulations. We couldn't be happier about Rainbow, and we're both thrilled that we've gotten to the point in the pregnancy where we can share our good news with everyone!

Now that said news is out and on the Internets, I can finally share that project I alluded to last week (but was afraid to show you because I knew someone would guess why I was knitting it).

Pattern: Little Bubbles (Ravelry link) by the Knit Picks Design Team, 6-12 month size
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Sport (75% pima cotton, 25% acrylic), colorways Seafoam, Planetarium, Ivory, Marlin, and Jalapeno (one skein or less each)
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: June 7/June 19
Mods: I added extra rows to the striped section of the body for added length

In spite of the many, many color changes and resulting abundance of ends to weave in -- I joked with The Mister that only for my child would I make something with so many ends to weave in -- this was a very fun knit. The "bubbled" yoke is my favorite part because of the wonderful texture.

The yarn itself was surprisingly (or perhaps not) soft and smooth, though the high cotton content meant that it was still a little rough on my hands. Once again, I found that this Knit Picks kit vastly underestimated the yarn needed to complete the project, however. The five skeins of yarn are supposed to be enough to knit the sweater as well as a hat and a pair of booties in this particular size (and the size smaller). After finishing only the sweater, though, I'm nearly out of the dark blue color. I'm going to try to eke out the hat, but I have my doubts. If you're thinking of buying this kit -- which is really a steal at $13.99 -- you might want to think about buying an extra skein of the background color in the color scheme you select.

The Mister thinks it's a cute sweater, but he was most impressed by the inside, so I have to show you this "guts" shot. The one-row stripes do make for an attractive wrong side!

After finishing this up, I had to make a trip over to Natural Stitches to get some more baby-friendly yarn for the next round of sweaters. If there's one thing I can say about baby garments, it's that they sure do knit up quickly! I have a feeling there will be quite a few little things on this blog in the months to come.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Surprise!

Dear readers, I've been holding out on you.



You see, I've been working on a very special -- and thus very secret -- project for several months now. It was so secret that not even the Hurricane Knitters knew about it until this evening.

Remember that period of blogging ennui from a few weeks ago? This secret project is the real reason why. I was dying to tell everyone, but I knew it would be better if I waited.

I'm sure you're all wondering just why this project is so special. Well, the truth is, it's not just my project. It's a collaboration with The Mister. He had a lot to do with getting it started, though I've been doing the majority of the work since then.

Have I dragged this out long enough? Okay, I'll let you in on the secret.



Meet Rainbow, due to make his or her appearance this December:


Expect to see a lot of baby knits on this blog in the near future!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blocked

Thanks for all the compliments on my sweater! Although I'm a bit disappointed that I'll have to wait several months to wear it, I'm not complaining at all about the beautiful weather we've had since I finished it. I really need to remember this sweater trick next spring!

I've started another project since finishing the Tangled Yoke, but I'll have to show you that in a few days. Right now it's just a big mess of ends to weave in before I can go any further.

In the meantime, I've been making steady progress on my sock yarn blanket. I finished two more squares since last you saw it (and I promise the red square isn't nearly that electric in person).

I also have a partial square in purples that's on hold until I can find some more purple scraps. Seems I have plenty of blue, black, and gray to go around, but I'll have to be a little more creative with the other colors. I guess it's a good excuse to clean out the stash thoroughly!



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Entangled

Finished, blocked, and modeled -- unfortunately not in natural light.

The color in these shots is much more accurate:

Pattern: Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang, fall 2007 Interweave Knits, size 38" bust
Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK, color 0008, approximately 1,666 yards/656 grams (including two gauge swatches)
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) Knit Picks Options and US 3 (3.25) and US 0 (2.0 mm) fixed circs
Started/Completed: April 24/June 5
Mods: none

I first swatched for this sweater sometime last year -- so long ago that I don't even remember when. Luckily I had the foresight to note my gauge with my chosen needles on a Post-It in my copy of the magazine, so when I was ready to cast on, I didn't have to start from scratch.

My gauge was a little off, so I decided to knit a size larger than normal in order to ensure a little bit of positive ease (I usually wear sweaters with one or more layers underneath, so I didn't want this to be tight). I gained some additional ease in blocking, as the yarn stretched ever so slightly, resulting in a very comfortable sweater that will be cozy and soft to throw over my shoulders come fall.

I think the cables pop nicely in this cabled yarn, and thankfully the puckering I saw when the sweater was fresh off the needles smoothed out a lot in blocking.

As to the buttons, they're a dark gray that came from the grab bags I bought at a big-box store months ago, and as luck would have it, I had exactly the number I needed. I think they're a perfect fit.


Overall, I'd say this sweater was a success. Perhaps I didn't do the best job of substituting yarns, but I'm happy with the result and I know this sweater will be worn many times during the colder months of the year.

And, as predicted, as soon as the last stitch was cast off and all the ends were woven in, we began experiencing temperatures in the 80s.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Usual

I am nothing if not predictable when it comes to my handspun. Take my latest. It's superwash merino, so naturally I spun a three-ply sock yarn. Here it was before:

and after:

This was for the All Spun Up May/June Ravelry spinalong, where we all get the same fiber (though everything but the fiber type is a surprise until we get it) and then spin it as we see fit. I surprised myself with the yardage, approximately 430 yards. Should make me a nice pair of socks!




Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kitchen Renovation, Day One

Here's what it looked like before, after we finished packing up nearly everything in the kitchen:

And here's the same view, after the first day of demolition renovation:

Here's where the sink used to be:

And here's an interesting artifact we discovered behind some of the cabinets -- old wallpaper, circa 1950s:

Monday, June 01, 2009

It Should Be Getting Hot Soon


Why? Because I'm getting close to finishing my Tangled Yoke Cardigan, and I'm sure the minute it's done we'll get full-blown summer weather, forcing me to put it away until the fall.


I finished the cable section last week. It looks nice, but it's clearly in need of a good blocking.

I don't think I've shown you my on-the-go project, have I? As I'm sure you have no problem believing, I have copious amounts of leftover sock yarn in my stash. I decided it was high time I did something about it, so I've started a log cabin-style blanket using the scraps.

For now, I'm sticking with superwash yarns for ease of care, and I'm grouping scraps in the same color family for each square. This is a long-term project, so I have no idea how many squares I'll make or how big the blanket will end up being. Heck, I haven't even thought ahead to how I'm going to join the squares yet! So expect to see this project from time to time for the forseeable future.

Meanwhile, in non-knitting news, The Mister and I (along with my brother) spent a good portion of the weekend clearing out the kitchen in preparation for the big renovation. We're actually gutting the entire room, closing up a mostly unnecessary pass-through to the dining room, and putting in new cabinets and new appliances. I'm very much looking forward to an oven with more than one rack that will actually heat to the set temperature (two of them, actually!) and a gas cooktop. The demolition starts tomorrow morning, and the whole process is projected to be complete by mid-July. Stay tuned for progress pictures!