Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Meet Sheldon!

Surprise, all... here is my latest FO! I am going to the first birthday party for my one year old buddy Max, who was born on my birthday last year! He is totally worth all of the work. I enjoyed making this project, and of course, I used yarn from my stash! Here's a second shot, with Sheldon in the buff!

Project Details

Yarn: Caron Sayelle yarn in Medium Fir Green and Woodsy Green. 100% Acrylic, baby!

Needles: Size 2 and 3 double points

Pattern: Sheldon from Knitty

Project Notes: I haven't really knit very many stuffed animals, so I was a little in the dark as I was going along... what part was I knitting? Which way would this part be pointing? However, I just followed the pattern and it went okay. I would not say that it was a beginner project, particularly because of the i-cord edging that you use to attach the shell top to the 'sweater' part that goes underneath his belly. It was a wee bit tricky.

I used a worsted weight instead of a sport weight, which was fine, as the final size really didn't matter.

The final verdict? Judge for yourself... cute as can be, and completely washable!
Regia Bamboo Yarn Review

Okay, now that I have completed my Monkey socks in Regia Bamboo yarn, I have this to say: These socks were super duper saggy, like droopy elephant legs. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I won't even wear them again! I think I will consider frogging both socks and making some sort of scarf... if I can get over the thought of the yarn being on my feet! (Is that weird?) Anyway, I am completely bummed out about this. I was hoping for some super non itchy socks in a less toasty warm fiber than wool. I guess ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby!

Also, I know I mentioned that I was going to make the dress for my brother's wedding. I did indeed start sewing the muslin, but it was very evident right away that the pattern just was NOT right for my figure, so I had to go to Plan B. I went to David's Bridal, and ended up buying the first dress I tried on! Success! It's in black- so if you go to the linkadink, click on the little black square to see what it looks like. I am going to take off the cheesy rhinestone accent piece, unless, of course, the bride wants us to wear rhinestone tiaras, and then, it's all good, baby! I don't have shoes yet, but that is a detail. Plus, check this out: this dress looks super duper awesome and flattering on me! It smooshes down my 'Christmas Cookie Belly' in a way that I never could have dreamed of! I might just wear this derned thing on a daily basis, based purely on how kickass I feel in it! Huzzah!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Yet More Socks!

One of my UFO's was this pair of socks- check out the patterns on the sides and the tops:

Additionally, please note the way that the pattern runs down the heel:
(As usual, sorry for the sideways pic- I am as un-lazy as possible, but Photoshop tries my every last patience!)
I had accidentally picked up two different (yet similar) colors of this yarn, but didn't notice until I got ready to knit sock #2. So, I made it a goal, naturally, to knit sock #2 in the correct and matching color during the Bustalong! I ordered two matching balls just before the Bustalong started. Now, they are done!
Project Details:
Pattern: Merino Lace Socks by Anne Woodbury from the Summer 03 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Gedifra Fashion Trend Sportivo in color # 5707, 2 balls
Needles: Size 0 double points, set of 5
Notes: The picture in the magazine did not do these socks justice. You totally can't see the additional patterning on the top of the sock or down the heel. I absolutely loved the pattern! It is really pretty and is interesting to knit. I liked the entire pattern except for how the sides of the heel flap were treated. I am used to having the slip stitch edge on the sides of the heel flap, and that wasn't quite what happened in this pattern. I won't bore you, just be prepared to be surprised by a difference from the usual, or to do your own thing. I would recommend this pattern for sure. Another note: the pattern is written to be knit on two circular needles. If you use double points, you'll have to decide on your own how to divide the stitches... because the center of the pattern includes yarn overs and decreases, you'll end up with more stitches on one side and will have to shift them around every so often... or, at least, that is what happened to me... but I was so happy with the super awesomeness of the pattern that I didn't care!
So, I am going to wait until I'm finished with my next project before blogging about it... it's a secret surprise! Yay!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Impressed

Well, I've got to say that the stash-busting Bustalong I'm participating in is leaving me impressed all around. I am not only impressed by the sheer size of some of the stashes, but also by the huge variety of yarns in people's stashes, as well as by the interesting and fabulous projects that knitters everywhere are completing. Talk about a source of inspiration! I have found several items I'd just love to make, at least one of which I have some yarn for already! How convenient!
Anyway, I was hoping to have a last minute, late night picture of another finished project, but as I was knitting along, I was wondering to myself why I was running out of yarn much more so than for the first sock. Upon closer inspection while decreasing for the toe, I realized that I had way too many stitches... and that I hadn't decreased enough at the gusset. Ugh. So, there was some frogging, some heavy sighing... but I'm certain I'll be back on track in no time!
On an unrelated note, I will be in my brother's wedding party in a couple of months. I have boldly decided to attempt to make my own dress! Naturally, I will include pictures here once there's something to show off. I have purchased the pattern and some cheapo fabric to make the muslin out of... so my sock might have to be put on hold for a bit. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Add Two To The List!

Okay, it's true. I have been wearing this first item unfinished... mostly unfinished, that is. These Broad Street mittens are great for me on my way to work, particularly because I need dexterity to get out my parking garage pass and roll my window down and up. Plus, if I get coffee in the morning, regular mittens are a bit slippy... I hate dropping coffee. It makes me SAD. Once, as a matter of fact, on a bemittened winter day, I dropped my entire coffee before I had even taken a sip. It was the free 'buy 10 get one free' coffee, too! I had bought it, driven to work, and it slid right out of my hands in the parking lot at work. It was a saaaaad day. So anyway, I never added buttons to these mittens, and finally made my way to Joann Fabrics to get buttons for these and a couple of other projects. As an aside, the buttons I picked out for my friend's baby's sweater didn't really work out... I didn't notice that the holes in the button were WAY too small for yarn to pass through. Bummer. Instead, I quickly crocheted some ties and it looks cute. Sorry, in my zeal to pack up the present, I forgot to take a picture. So, without further ado, here are the mittens:

Next, I have finished my Monkey socks.

Project Details:
Pattern: Monkey from Knitty by Cookie A
Yarn: Regia Bamboo Color in color # 1067
Needles: Sizes 1 and 0 double point- I changed to 0's for the foot.

I enjoyed knitting these socks. I think I need to wash/block them, because the lace pattern is currently a little bunchy. I think that the bamboo yarn feels nice, but will reserve final judgement until I wear them more.

The stash knitting is going well. I haven't yet completely decided what I'll work on next, but I'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Funny Pictures!

I have decided to share with you a shot of me in my yarn bin. It is humongous. My dad and I made me a large platform bed with four huge bins underneath, since my loft had no closets when I moved in. When looking at these pics, Please note that I am 5'11" and a healthy size 12, and that a large crate fits in there with me. Those of you who noted that I appear to have a LOT of yarn, please also note that all of my yarn plus a sewing box and a box of sewing patterns all fit in the bin. I'm just saying.

I live alone, and have not thought to have someone take this picture FOR me when they're over. However, I think that this picture is humorous. By the way, some of you might like to note that I am wearing a tank top and no socks. (And that my hands kind of look like bony claws- but that is beside the point!) It is very warm in my apartment, despite the fact that it is winter. I live in perpetual July, and I am not complaining. Being warm rules. Additionally, having a giant bin for yarn also rules. Thanks, dad, for your help in that arena. It appears to hold a lot of weight, too, heh heh...
Latest FO, in color (and lots of it)

Here is a quick shot of my latest stashbusting FO: Some rainbow Jaywalkers. I purposefully did not try to match the stripes. I was going for the natural look:

I had a hard time getting my gauge just right for these. The pattern is not very stretchy in nature, and I always have to modify the size of socks because my feet are narrow. I ended up using size 0 needles and putting 17 stitches on each of four needles, rather than the 19 called for. The result? Nice, snug socks that are almost too difficult to get on, but fit wonderfully once they're on. I am very happy, particularly because I cast on five different times- too loose, too tight, too loose, a little too loose... you get the idea...
Who you gonna call?

STASHBUSTERS!!! On the first day of the Bustalong, I conveniently had a day off from work. Even more conveniently, I had some yarn and a new baby to knit for. My friend Laura, whom I've known since I was a wee baby myself, just had a new baby girl, so I managed to do some knitting. Observe: tiny angora booties that are so fuzzy, they look blurry! Knit from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. They are quick, adorable, and always a crowd pleaser.

Next, I made a verson of the five hour baby sweater from this link on the web, and the Baby Tart hat from Knitty.I have purchased buttons for the sweater, and will apply them post haste, I swear!
My stashbusting skills are becoming honed, but I notice that I have not yet picked up and finished those items that will only take a short time to finish. I think I might be trying to convince myself that I'll do them over February vacation. I guess time will tell...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Under the Wire
Tonight, I am sorting through all of my yarn, so that it all hopefully fits into my storage bin. Some of it was snuggled away elsewhere, all snug and yarny. Awwww. Anyway, I revisited the Merino Lace Socks single sock that I finished back in November, and realized that if I hoped to knit the second one, I would need to get the matching yarn. I located it online, and bought it... just under the wire. I put some nonessential yarn in my shopping cart, and then prudently removed it. I am such a good girl! Yippee!

I have a new obsession. It is an awesome online laser game. It is super awesome and you should try it. There is a laser, and mirrors, and you have to align the lasers so that they light up the lightbulbs. I am on level 19.

Next, I have some finished items that I just whipped up from some nice Knitpicks yarn. Did I neglect to mention that I ordered it and a book on tams when I ordered all those needles a couple of weeks ago? Yep, probably I did. Completely guilt related avoidance of yarn purchase mentioning. (That was a terrible sentence. Decode it if you dare. The important thing is that the yarn was purchased comfortably BEFORE the Bustalong!) Well, anyway, here is the swatch, which I cleverly made into a coffee cozy. Ummm, which I copied from someone else's blog. I apologize to you, idea maker, for forgetting who you are. But you know who you are, and you are a goddess.
Please admire the adorable crocheted edging. It is adorable.
Next, we have the tam itself. Sorry about the terrible side view; the lighting in my home is exceedingly BAD. As are my camera skills.Sadly, my dinner plates are 11 inches rather than 10 inches. You are supposed to block the tam on a ten inch plate. I guess I'll need to procure one. At any rate, I liked making this tam. I have enough yarn left for at least one more. However, I cannot imagine wanting to own more than one tam of this particular colorway. Ooh, but I do have a friend who is nicknamed "Orange Anne." Ya think she might like one? Hint: Yes, she would. She got the nickname because almost everything she wears is orange. It is quite a sight to behold.
Okay, kids, over and out. I have a NEW post to create!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Knitpicks Needles

My two cents, briefly: I have swapped over from Blunti Stumpos to the new Knitpicks circulars, in size 3. They are pointier than the Blunties, but not as finger-gougingly pointy as I would like. However, they are a good step up and I am satisfied. Plus, the cord is super awesome, even better than that on the Blunties. That is awesome!

Today, I also tried out the double points, in a size 1. They were super pointy and I am totally happy with my purchase. Yay!
I SMELL DANGER... AND IT SMELLS LIKE YARN.

So, I have run across some potential downsides to the awesome Bustalong. I have included them in list form, for ease of reading. They are in the order by which they have occurred to me, in timeline fashion.

Two days ago, while photographing my stash: I have lots and lots of yarn, some of which was purchased with specific projects in mind. I want to start knitting all of those projects. Now.

Simultaneously: I have lots and lots of yarn, some of which I can TOTALLY come up with projects to start knitting. Now.

Moments later: I have lots and lots of yarn, most of which is leftovers from other projects. I want to start coming up with projects to use every single little bit up. I kinda want to start... NOW.

Ten minutes ago, while reading the latest Bustalong posts: Lots of other people ALSO have lots and lots of yarn. It sure does look pretty and knittable. I want to go and get more yarn. Once I do, I want to start knitting new projects. Now.

It is official. I am in yarn overload. And, I am so overwhelmed, that I have only knit one row tonight. What is this world coming to? I am in a state of knitting paralysis. I bet it would help if I put all the yarn back away, instead of leaving it out on the floor so I can gaze at it almost constantly. That's one of the dangers/ benefits of living alone... no one to complain about mountains of yarn all over the place! Hee hee!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Flash Alert! Flash Alert!

I am totally on board with the UFO and Stash Bust-along that Cece and I cooked up in our twisted little minds, and Cece was kind enough to create the blog. Several members have flashed their stashes already, and now, I prepare to do the same. There are six distinct categories of knitting that are in my possession. First off, the UFO's... in my case, there are four of them that are SO CLOSE to being finished, that it is truly scandalous that they have remained incomplete for so long. One requires seaming and buttons, one requires that the sleeves be re-set (due to bulginess), one requires A ZIPPER (yeah, LAZY! But I haven't been able to find a matching zipper, so I have a semi excuse) and the bag requires some sewing and seaming. Observe:
The next category is a sad collection of five finished or almost finished sweaters that I am dissatisfied with and need to decide: frog, fix, or frow away? (alliteration at its best, no?) Gaze upon the sad display:
Next, I have three active WIP's. I fully intend to finish these at some point and am enjoying working on them. There's the Starsky sweater from Knitty, Monkey socks from Knitty, and a lace shawl from the Vintage Lace book. I think the Monkey socks are knitting up a little big, so I will have to reassess:
Next, the 'finish or frog' pile. There is a sock for which I bought the wrong 'matching' yarn, a sock for which I don't like the pattern I chose for the yarn, and then a partially finished vest for which I don't have enough yarn and would have to cross my fingers that varying dye lots wouldn't show:
Then, there is a massive pile of yarn left over from about a bajillion projects. I am thinking that if I put my mind to it, I could come up with projects that incorporated some of those yarns. The biggest accomplishment would be if I could come up with a pattern to use up the leftovers from balls of sock yarn!
Last but not least, unmolested balls and cones of yarn. I can see five sweaters' worth of yarn, as well as yarn for two shawls, four pairs of socks, some soft, fuzzy yarn, angora bootie yarn, and a few random cones of yarn that still have me a bit perplexed:
Whew. That is a bunch of yarn. I certainly have plenty to work on, and have no reason to go out and buy more!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sock Lurve

Well, I have been indulging in 'startitis', where I have started two new projects before finishing the project I was already working on. That is fairly out of character for me; I generally pride myself on being a 'finisher'. In my defense, I am a little nervous about working on Starsky, because I'm afraid that I will indeed find out that I'll have to rip out the stocking I made my mom for Christmas. And second, that lace shawl that I started is supremely slow going and is very complicated, (read: NOT mindless knitting) and I think I need to label it as a long term project, and just accept that. Additionally, I am kind of waiting for those sharper needles to arrive- I think that will make things a LOT easier!

So, I gave myself permission to start knitting with my new Regia Bamboo sock yarn, and have started up on the Monkey sock pattern from the most recent edition of Knitty. I am completely loving this pattern! I also like knitting with the yarn- it is soft and nice, and is a nice change of pace from knitting with wool. Spiderman 2 is about to be on TV, and I have never seen it... or maybe I have. I can't remember. But if I haven't, I am going to knit throughout the film, and possibly tidy up my apartment to give my hands a break here and there. Perhaps I'll add a pic of my progress later on in the evening! In the meantime, might I suggest knitting the Monkey socks immediately!