bad …

… blogger … somewhat bad knitter.

Life got busy with a new job and somehow 6 months or so just flew by.  The new job is great, but I just haven’t had the mental energy to keep up with everything.  One of my goals for the new year is to get a little balance back into my life.

Knitting suffered a bit too.  My goal of 11 in 11 (pairs of socks and cabled things) was just barely achieved and only with a little fudging.  One “pair” of socks were these tiny ones …

 tiny socks

Some of the socks were cabled, so they counted for both.  Not exactly what I had in mind initially, but still not too bad.

Some of the socks did double duty on the design front too.  I’m working on two separate cable patterns:

Hugs & Kisses:

hugs and kisses socks

and Manly Hugs:

manly hugs mitts

I’m hoping to have patterns written up and published for mitts and socks for both by the middle of January.  Eventually, I’d like to add a toe-up version to the sock patterns too.

year of scarves update #10

Tenth and final update on the Year of Scarves.  It worked out pretty well and the final count is twelve scarves (or shawlettes) for 2010.  Having a goal of getting one done each month (even if I didn’t actually stick to that timetable) really proved a good incentive.  Having graduation, birthday, and Christmas gifts ready to go was also an excellent carrot for this donkey.

The final contenders in the YoS were these two:

Un_Noro striped scarfUn-Noro striped scarf

Both done in Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (discontinued) for fast, machine-washable, and warm winter scarves.  For the ungrateful one and the boyfriend for Christmas.  I love this pattern and I’d do it again in a heartbeat with the right yarn.

In the Christmas knitting stakes, I’m not doing too badly with my original, and somewhat unrealistic, list.  Here’s what is already done:

Cabled coffee coziesDashing cabled mittsDashing cabled mittsDashing cabled mittsHive striped mittsChunky knitted beret

Underway:

  • Jackson’s dead fish hat (just waiting for eyes) – pattern from Knitty
  • Miss Bella’s Arrrgyle dog coat – Bernat’s I-Matey Dog Coat pattern (more about this below)

Still on the crazy person goal items list:

  • Three hats (the architect, the boy, and the boyfriend)

Doing the three pairs of Dashing mitts gave me the time to ponder some modifications to the pattern.  I wanted the cables to twist in the direction of the hand worn (i.e. left-leaning cables for the left hand and right-leaning for the right), I wanted to add another cable round, but only on the top of the mitt – not on the palm, and I wanted a thumb gusset which grew out of one of the cables.  My mods are available on my Dashing page.  Doing this has been a spur to designing my own cabled mitts pattern.  I’m hoping to get these done for the ungrateful one for Christmas, but I probably will have to knit another pair after that to iron out any kinks in the pattern before I publish it.

The dog coat for Miss Bella is based on a Bernat pattern which is, by all accounts on Ravelry, atrociously written.  I’m going to nut it out somehow because I’d like to include something for that sweet and silly dog in the Christmas package, but I’m subbing in an Argyle pattern from Knitty (Mangyle) instead of the skull.  If I figure out the basic structure, I’ll be in good shape to rewrite the pattern next year and make her a custom Steelyard dog coat.  :)

I may do Mangyle down the track for the boy.  He’s hankering after an Argyle vest for some reason.

year of scarves update #9

Getting close to the end!

phoebe's un-Noro striped scarf
This is the ungrateful one’s (or her boyfriend’s) un-Noro scarf in Moda Dea Tweedle Dee. She wanted something in these colours and I was lucky enough to find plenty of each colour from two different Ravelers. One of them kindly sent an extra skein in a different colour and the girl has already knit herself a scarf out of it with some DIC Classy leftovers scavenged from my stash. All I have to do now is get her beyond garter stitch and she’ll be over on the dark side with the rest of us. ;)

That’s the second last scarf this year (I’ll knit another the same for Chris for Christmas), so the total will be 12 for the year.  Not exactly one each month as far as when they were knitted, but it averages out that way.  :)

As far as other knitting goes … well, it is the end of November so the manic Christmas knitting is in full swing.  Here’s what I plan to knit between now and December 24th (crazy person goal items are in italics):

Scarves:

  • Un-Noro for the ungrateful one: underway
  • Un-Noro for the boyfriend: next

Hats:

  • Jackson’s “Alive, alive-O!” fish hat; underway except that I apparently live in some kind of alternate reality where 0.2 of a skein of Knit Picks Swish Worsted in black is enough to do all the black stripes.  Alas, I’ve had to order more from KP, which necessitated buying just over $50 worth of stuff total to get the free shipping.  ;)
  • Botanic for Wright: done!
  • Super-simple fast & easy chunky hand-knit beret for the ungrateful one: I will have enough of the Moda Dea Tweedle Dee left to do one of these in gray, I think.
  • Botanic (I think) for the boyfriend
  • Botanic (again!) for the architect
  • Botanic (I should be able to knit this in my sleep by now) for the boy

Mitts:

  • Dashing in machine wash and dry Wool-Ease for the architect: underway
  • Hive Mitts for our stupendous student aide at work (yarn ordered as part of KP “must get just over $50″ shopping spree)
  • Dashing (ditto machine wash & dry) for the boyfriend
  • Dashing (ditto care and knitting in sleep) for the boy
  • As yet unknown pattern for the ungrateful one

Other:

So, that’s only 2 more scarves, 5 hats, 5 pairs of mitts, 1 dog coat, and 2 coffee cozies to go, right?

Oh, and the Chiral cardigan I’ve done a gauge swatch and bought buttons for.  The buttons are just beautiful.

Argyle pattern pewter buttonsThey’re lead-free pewter in an Argyle pattern from Roosterick on etsy.  Not only are they lovely, but they come beautifully packaged, so they’d make great gifts for other knitters.

Oh, and finishing the ungrateful one’s blanket in time for her 21st a few days after Christmas.  Thankfully, that’s nearly done.  I’m halfway around the i-cord edging and it moves along pretty quickly.
i-cord edging on blanketWe won’t even mention the work I have to do for the final hours of my internship and the paper yet to be written.

Or the Maryjanes booties I took an order for yesterday …

year of scarves update #8

Well, the year is winding down and I may actually make it (remember the goal?  A scarf for everyone as a gift this year?).

I got Mum’s done just in time and it turned out beautifully.  I really like the Moda Dea Bamboo Wool.  Too bad Moda Dea seems to have disappeared.

Pattern: Fishtail Lace Scarf (from Knit Picks)
Yarn: Moda Dea Bamboo Wool

The architect is still an “architect” – but that’s another long story for another day.  His scarf is underway.  He knows he’s getting it and is already bugging me about whether or not it’ll get done in time.  *sigh*  It’s in Malabrigo Worsted which is like knitting with butter.  :)

I got the yarn for the ungrateful one’s scarf through a couple of Ravelry people.  She saw Zach’s and decided that she wanted the same kind of thing.  I *hated* the yarn I did Zach’s in (and I’m worried about the time factor), so I’ve got some Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (super bulky) lined up in the kind of colours she wanted.  I’ve actually got so much of it that, if I have time, I’ll do one for her boyfriend too.  He missed out on the “year of scarves” as his birthday is in February and I didn’t know about it until after then.  If I get both scarves done, I’ll give them to them for Christmas.  The yarn is pretty and should stand up to hard wear and tear I hope.

The prototype versions of the  MaryJanes booties nearly killed me, but I think I’ve finally got the kinks wrestled out of the pattern.  I just need to finish the final pair I’m knitting now and remember to take some pics of the critical/tricky bits in the pattern.  I should be able to get that done by the end of next week.  They’re coming out well.  Pics to come in another post.

A couple of other things started – two are secrets until December (and may remain that way forever if they don’t get finished) and the other is a Chiral cardigan from Interweave Knits, Fall 2010.  I’m doing it in Patons Classic Wool Tweeds on a whim.  So far I’ve only managed the gauge swatch, so no pics on that either.

year of scarves update #7

So, far from having all the spare time in the world now that I’m down to just the 2-credit internship to go, I’m swamped with work.  It might have something to do with still not being very good at saying no.  It’s a subject for another blog post though.

In the year of scarves, I’m still on track!  I finished the boy’s un-Noro scarf just in time for his birthday and I think he might actually like it!

un-noro striped scarfI’m at least 2/3 done with Mum’s Fishtail Lace scarf, but I need to rev up the pace to get it done and blocked before her birthday.

fishtail lace scarfI finally settled on patterns for the architect’s (Here and There Cables) and the ungrateful one’s scarves (Ruffles), so I can get started on those soon.

In the meantime, I finally got around to the two pairs of Shake Your Sockies booties requested by my boss for friends.  I got some lovely yarn at Knitty City when we were in the city the weekend before last and the booties are done, just waiting to be seamed.

preemie baby bootiesAnother big push will be finishing the ungrateful one’s blanket in time for her 21st.  Thankfully the weather is finally getting cooler, so I can work on that comfortably at night.

sock yarn blanket

year of scarves update #6

I’m a little slow getting to this, but I have been a bit busy …

My milkweed is finished and is just lovely.  I will definitely be making this pattern again.

The car-pooling Karius is also done, as is 220yds to graduation, but these are surprise gifts for later in the year, so no pics yet. :(

Midsummer Ruffles for Midwinter is also done.  Ditto re making this again.

Just Enough Ruffles scarfI’ve started the boy’s birthday scarf and although it’s got more bright colour than he would normally wear, I’m thinking it might be nice to see him with a splash of colour every now and then.  If he hates it, I’ll just knit him something more muted and give it to someone else (or keep it for myself!).

Zach's striped scarf underwayI’m not very happy with the yarn I’m using for this (Crystal Palace Mochi Plus).  While it’s dreamy soft and the colours are lovely, it varies so much in thickness that it’s infuriating.  There are sections where it changes instantly from something like a bulky weight to fingering or lace weight.  This produces an effect almost like a crease in the knitted fabric which is annoying.  You can see one in the pic above, right between the section with green stripes and the section with blue stripes – there’s an olivey-green stripe that almost looks like there’s a fold in the scarf.  Grrrr.  I won’t be using this yarn again.

year of scarves update #5

The first Lacy Karius was finished a week or so ago, but it’s been a busy week (last full week of the school year at work and my summer class – Web Multimedia – started).

  • Travelling Karius
  • Pattern: Lacy Karius by Stephanie Rodger
  • Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Paints, #9222 David’s Eyes, 1 skein, 437 yds
  • Needles: US 6

I’ve started another which may be a gift for a friend:

I’m also doing a KAL with a friend and knitting my second 198 Yards of Heaven.  The first one came out so beautifully, so I’m happy to be doing another.  I’m using Dream in Color Classy again, but this time in the Cloud Jungle colourway.  It’s just beautiful.  This time I’m very glad to know that the rather clumpy looking fabric will block out into something gorgeous.  It’s really interesting to see it knitted in a different yarn – my friend is using something slightly lighter in weight and with a slight halo.  Not sure exactly what it is.  Hers is already much more open than mine so it’ll be interesting to see what happens when it’s finished and blocked.

In non-scarf news, I’ve started Kiama for myself using Plymouth Royal Bamboo Multi.  I had some gauge issues, so I have my fingers crossed that it will work out.  Because of the construction of the cardigan, I probably won’t know if it’s going to work or not until it’s at least halfway done.  I hate that, but it doesn’t seem to stop me.