Monday, December 31, 2007

Here I am!

Hellloooo!
Apologies for my absence, I don't really have many excused besides finals & holiday knitting deadlines. Okay, I guess those are pretty good excuses...

I have some fun little new things knit up that I will share with you!

First of all, I have been a little ridiculous when it comes to this "Mercy" pattern. I have made 4 for various people this year and will probably continue to make more as I acquire the yarn.


Also, I made a Christmas knit for one of my favorite people of all time. The striped cable hat was chosen (yarn, colors, pattern, pom) by Nick for Nick. This is a very nick hat. He goes to Madison and will fit in quite well now--GO BADGERS!!


More FO's and information to come very soon--just thought you might want something to hold you over in the mean time!

Oh, I almost forgot.... Merry Christmas! (and happy New Year!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

C is for Cookie, That's Good Enough for Me!

I haven't had much time to knit, but here's what I've got to show for myself:














That is the start of my Slouchy Cabled Beret . I found this pattern by mindlessly browsing Ravelry (seeming to happen more often lately than normal) and decided to use it as relaxation knitting working up to finals week. The yarn is Malabrigo worsted in Polar Morn. so far I'm very pleased with the way it's coming out, it's unbelievably soft! The photo doesn't do the colors justice, it's really a more purply grey than it looks. Actually, I'm making this hat to go with this new addition to my wardrobe.

Much love for this coat. It
should be arriving tomorrow via DHL and I'm definitely looking forward to it. It is, admittedly, retail therapy to cope with the loss of the puppy I've had since I was 9. She was too cute for words, and she will be missed and never replaced.


I love my Mabel. How can you say no to that face?













Lastly, earlier tonight (to prevent me from having a homework meltdown), my fantastic roommate Jamie decided we should make holiday sugar cookies! They were a success, and the definitely took my mind off of schoolwork for an hour. Mission Accomplished. Here are some photos of what we created.

Some of my personal favorites include the field of grazing sheep, the angel fish, the menorah, the hat, mittens, ball of yarn, and of course, the sad looking dreidel that really meant well.
What a fun night!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Go away Insomnia....

In a perfect world, I would actually be cuddled up next to my Rowan wool dreaming of spectacular knit items to come...

In REALITY, I'm taking pictures of myself wanting to dream of knitting, but instead staying awake for reasons unbeknownst to me. Sigh. It is the plight of a college student, yes?


Oh, and for the curious: the hat is one of my wardrobe staples. It's a modified newsboy hat with a chevron stitch pattern that I found in the book Knitted Stitches. Rowan big wool is one of my favorites. And yes, I've been known to fall asleep with my hats still on. Usually I take enough care to remove my earrings first though...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holy Grey Yarn Batman!

Sooo, I realized this evening that my yarn stash is beginning to develop a pattern. That pattern (lately) has been grey. Let me take a moment to introduce you to my happy grey family:

Starting from the left, we have Cascade 22o in Silver Grey. This yarn's destiny includes a second go at the hat Gretel, since I love making the first one so much, I want to try doing it again in a different size with worsted weight yarn. As we travel around the back we see 5 skeins of Rowan Ribbon twist in Rocky. Their destiny has not yet been established. I keep changing my mind. I used two to make my Mercy hat, so a lot of sweaters went out the window at that point. If you know of any good projects that call for 5 or less of this yarn, let me know!

Next, on the far right, we have a ball of Rowan kidsilk Haze in Pearl. This ball represents quite a problem because, due to my skin sensitivity, I have an intense reaction if anything (we're talking anything) irritates or scratches my skin. It basically has to be made into a gifted item-but that's exciting! The next yarn selection we have is Malabrigo worsted in color Polar Morn. This yarn has Le Slouch in its future.

Last, but certainly not least, we have beautiful early Hanukah present from my parents! Tilli Tomas silk (3 skeins Pure & Simple, 2 skeins Disco Lights) in Atmosphere. This present came as such a shock (for those of you who aren't familiar with my longing for this yarn, read here , or just scroll down). My mom said that even though I was waiting until I was "established & successful" to make this sweater, that I'd need something to wear while I'm getting there. Gotta love parents for knowing you better than you know yourself sometimes. So, there you have it. My stash is grey and growing!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ethel struts her stuff

Check it OUT! I got to try my Tree Jacket onto Ethel, my mom's dress making form over Thanksgiving break. It's so nice to see this thing looking like an actual sweater now!

I just wanted to give an update on progress, but there is much more I have to share soon!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gretel geht zum Heidel Haus! OR Gretel goes to the Heidel House!

I just finished Gretel! This might come as a surprise since I didn't even mention I was making Gretel. Here she is...SURPRISE!

This project (nicknamed the Heidel Hat) was found on Ysolda's page and I quickly became intrigued and excited to learn how to make this beret-like item. A hat with very German roots despite its French tendencies.

Pattern: Gretel
Designer: Ysolda Teague
Yarn of Choice: Becca's Woolen Works - 100% Merino wool. Beautiful Handspun wool made by a coworker, and gifted by a very good friend. 1 hank = aprox. 200 yards.
Needles: 4's for the ribbing and then
size 7's for the rest.
Cast on: 11/15
Cast off: 11/22

I did try the tubular cast on, but it was a little bit too small. Sigh. I ended up knitting the ribbed portion on size 4 needles and it fit well when I tried it on. Also, cabling without a cable needle = fantastic. I'm very excited to know how to do that now!

If I were to make this pattern again (which I plan on!), I would probably not use handspun wool. The yarn was fantastic and very nice to work with, but I think the variations in the fiber look a little funny for cabling. Also, I think I might try it again in the slouchy size--who knows!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A tree that's growing, Fancy that!

Progress on Tree Jacket has been made! I was starting to think I wasn't going to make it past that garter stitch portion on the yoke (BOR-ING), but now it's finished and I'm on to the lace bodice! After separating the sleeves the first time, I discovered that the "small" size was way too big. I ripped out 8 rows and now am working the XS size. I would be confused (I am by no means an extra small), but I've read that Zephyr patterns tend to run on the large side. Whew. Here's a look at what I've got photos of so far!

Friday, November 9, 2007

a tam o'shanter in Wisconsin!

I know I've taken a brief hiatus from the blog scene, but I just finished a very intense week of coursework, projects, exams, and papers. It all went well, but basically it equaled having no time for knitting. That all changed today which was my day of relaxation!

Do any of you remember this?
















Well, since I'm not one to let anything go to waste, those two grey balls of Rowan Ribbon Twist were fashioned into something new! Lets have a look shall we?














Is that a pom pom you see peaking out from behind? That'd be correct. And I love it. Here are the stats:

Pattern: Mercy - Rowan ribbon twist collection
Designer: Kim Hargreaves
Yarn of Choice: Rowan Ribbon Twist in Rocky - 2 skeins
Needles: 11's for 3 rows and then SIZE 17's for the rest! yeah!
Cast on: 11/8
Cast off: 11/9

Much love for this tam.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Success!

The Berdien's Boxes scarf is finally complete and gifted--huzzah!

More information will be posted soon, for now enjoy the pictures!

















Monday, October 22, 2007

A Challenge--any takers?

On another note, I challenge somebody to remake this sweater:






















J.Crew has definitely caught my eye this time. Seriously. it's 1.5 gauge-- That's madness! And it's a whole cardigan in garter stitch-- Let's be realistic here. I bet whatever anybody makes to mimic this, it won't cost them $175.00 to do so! Click the image for more info on it, hopefully somebody pursues this one!

It's a secret...but how?

So how is it possible for me to update you on my progress when I'm working on a gifted item? I want to post pictures but I know that the receiver occasionally checks this page. I suppose it will have to be done in words, despite words being slightly less fun. I'm knitting a beautiful pattern which is taking the form of a scarf. The pattern is called Berdien's Boxes and it's from Stahman's Shawls & Scarves by Myrna A.I. Stahman. It is grey with some dark blue accents and is coming out beautifully so far (lots of chart reading!) I will post pictures next Sunday as that is when this will be gifted--until then, no other updates except Tree Jacket is growing quite nicely; sort of like a real tree!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Knit with Arrested Development!

For those of you out there who knit while watching the comic genius of the greatest show to ever grace a television network, this it for you! Arrested Development, you are missed!










Kudos to the graphic design awesomeness of my brother, Joel, for whipping this up so quickly!

"Pull over!" "No, it's a cardigan, but thanks for noticing!"

WARNING. This is an abnormally long post--continue with caution and remember to blink!

October 6th? really? I feel like it hasn't been 10 days since my last post. I guess that's what comes of starting a knitting blog while simultaneously going to college full time. (What was I thinking?)

Dumb question. I know what I was thinking! I was thinking about how cool it was that this sort of thing existed--blogs I mean. I love getting feedback on my projects and seeing what everyone else is doing too. How fantastic. Okay, knitting update:

Forecast = finished sans buttons. Do I like the result? Errrr Yes?. I mean I do....maybe? I'm certainly not shouting from the rooftops about it. Why? Gauge. I hate the word, and I hate to admit it, but yes; it does make a difference. Here's a photo:

What's that you say? What happened to the notion of this being a cardigan? Wellllllllllll that kind of got nixed after a trip to my favorite yarn shop of all time (Iris Fine Yarns) and some consultations from my mother, who's opinion on such matters I value quite highly. So that's that. Done. Finito. I feel like it's a successful first sweater, and I can't help but feel a certain sense of accomplishment knowing that it's finished. That sense of accomplishment also comes from showing the people who accuse me of never finishing anything that I did indeed finish something. ahem.

Whey else haven't I posted lately? Well, I've found that it's hard to knit and post blog messages at the same time. Very hard. When I tried doing both at once I either ended up dropping a stitch or typing an expletive by accident when my fingers slipped. So, instead of blogging, I was knitting, working, and going to classes. Mind you those are in no particular order.....again, ahem.

SO, here's what I've been up to:

Pattern: The Back to School U-Neck vest from Fitted Knits
Designer: Stefanie Japel
Yarn of Choice: Cascade 220 in Plum #9474
Cast on: 10/6


Top:A photo my boyfriend graciously took while he sat [bored] on the couch watching me knit.
Middle:I always think it's exciting when knitted things begin to look like actual garments...huzzah for a gauge check this time....
Bottom:
I'm not exactly sure why I chose to do a closeup on this particular spot. It happens to be the location of a major, but livable, knitting error on my part.




I do like knitting this vest so far, I find for the amount of time put into it (not much as far as knitted things go), it has a high return on investment. Return on investment?? Gah I hate my financial accounting course for pervading other areas of my life--especially my hobbies! Those should be off limits! Anyway, I alluded to it in my caption above, but the only mistake on this one so far is the increases I did for the bust shaping. Apparently I can't read well. More so that I like to read what I want to see. This vest would have been finished twice now if I hadn't had to rip out the waffle stitch portion twice--it was almost enough to turn me off to the whole idea of making this vest. Luckily, I gave it another shot and even though the increases still aren't right, they work and my stitch counts are right on now. This vest still has to be put on time-out on occasion, but that's just because row counting doesn't work when you knit on the go between classes. Now onto the next project

Pattern: Tree Jacket
Designers: the super trendy Zephyr girls from www.zephyrstyle.com
Yarn of Choice: Cascade 220 in Azure #8892
Cast on: 10/15



Left: The neck of Tree Jacket modeled on one of the vases my talented boyfriend whipped up on the wheel.



Below: Another angle of the super fun yarn-overs. I mean who doesn't love fun yarn overs?

Tree Jacket is really fun to knit so far. Granted it's only been one day and I'm only about 4 inches into it, but I have a good feeling about this one.
On a non-knitting related note, I'll bet I'm the only one who thinks this, but I laugh every time I read the title "Tree Jacket". For some reason, that name conjures up the image of this thing which is actually Treebeard from the LOTR trilogy. Why the strong connection? I have no idea. Hopefully my sweater will come out looking better than that when I'm finished.

Okay, back to knitting information: I love working with Cascade 220, which is a comment I forgot to mention about my vest too. Before I go any further, I want to apologize to my mom since I sortof told her I was going to send this yarn back to Indiana where it came from. **Mom, I'm sorry...the color and I bonded since I got back to school--you know how I am with turquoise! **Anyhoo, I started this one because it was voted as the SKC Knitalong project for this fall and I obviously had to participate. How exciting! There will be more pictures to come as it grows bigger, but for now, this is what I have going on my needles.

This concludes my obscenely long post. I did warn you that this would be long--feel free to administer eye drops at this time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Look what I made today!....(and then un-made later on)

So I am as guilty as guilty comes when knitting multiple projects is concerned. I can't help myself. I like to have variety and sometimes that means working on more than one thing at one time. Okay, more than 3 things. Or 5 things. Or..well...we won't get into it. Regardless, since I haven't come to a decision about the sleeve length of my Forecast, I decided to start something else I had yarn stashed away for. What I whipped up was this; the Bold and Bulky mini Cardi from Fitted Knits. It started well enough, but when the time came for the collar and edging, I just decided to scrap it. It's not that I won't remake it again someday in a larger size, but for right now, it just wasn't working. Granted it's only about 3-4 hours of actual work put into this thing (aka the time it took me to have quick conversations in the UHP office and to watch Meet Joe Black) here is what I had at the end of that time.




















And this is what I have now that I've ripped it all apart.....



















There is an indescribable feeling of catharsis as one rips out a knitted garment....I had this feeling tonight as my cardigan was reduced to 3 balls of yarn. Possibilities are endless though--I intend to not let them go to waste.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thoughts on sleeve length?

So, originally I was going to make this bad boy full sleeved. Then as I got knitting and trying on, I realized that I kind of like them where they are right now. One of the next sweaters I'm planning on knitting, however, will be short sleeved for sure. I have enough yarn right now to do either length and I need help deciding. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What could I buy with $150?


























I have fallen in love with a skein of yarn and it's color. Tilli Thomas, why do you make such beautiful yarn that I can't buy? The elegant yarn above is named "Pure and Simple"looks uh-mazing . I want to see in person like none other. The Sequiny version, aptly named "Disco Lights", would be in the same color "atmosphere" as the gorgeous grey above. They just didn't have a hank of the disco online. Sigh....

I have not fallen in love with it's price. YIKES. We're talkin':
3 skeins @ $28 each
2 skeins @ $38 each
pattern @ a reasonable $7

Bringing the total for this garment to a whopping $167.00
but WAIT! if I were to buy all of this online, the discounted kit would be at 150.00 for everything. What a bargain.

I'd like to take this time to mention that I am a college student. A college student that doesn't have $150 dollars to be spending on one sweater's worth of yarn. Seriously. This sweater has been put in the "when I'm established and successful"category.

But you know...if I ever were to acquire such beautifulness before then, I would be making this sweater:















I fear that my needles can't keep up with my eyes.....

Monday, October 1, 2007

Yeah. It's Called an Obsession

I have a full fledged knitting addiction and I don't care who knows it. It is 2:05 in the A.M. and I just finished the torso of my sweater.

(and there was great rejoicing)

Here she is....

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Museum of Fine Handknits





Well if I were in a museum of fine art, I'd certainly stop to look at handknit accessories.

..................

just me? shoot.

Those are two of the first hats I ever made--the left was gifted, the right donated. Hooray for the holidays!

I Hate Ribbing....

So there has been some definite progress on this thing since last week--but there's actually been more than this picture shows...



















Despite me not wanting to do so, I had to rip out about 6" of my sweater after an unsuccessful attempt at a waistband. So, just to show my sweater who's boss, I got rid of the waistband all together! hah! Oh, and I switched to size 5 needles so there'd actually be some shaping to this darn thing! Now there will just be straight ribbing down the torso. And now, after much thought, I've grown to like it. I've almost knit back to where I started dismantling, and the sweater and I are now back on speaking terms.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Progress can be fun

Progress! I have been able to knit a few rows here, cable a few there, and as a result have gotten another inch or so onto my sweater! I actually have made it to the waistband portion of Forecast! I've switched to my size 8's to give it a more fitted look--overall I'm pleased with the way it's coming out. Hooray!


















Today I had a professor of mine talk about the "crazy" niche markets that there are in the tourism industry. He included groups like the ghost chasers, civil war re-enacters, and of course, the KNITTERS. what?! When did we get lumped with the crazies? Not saying that the others are, but are we really that strange? Really? He went on to tell me that when I'm not busy knitting (in class) that I should make pilgrimage to "The World's Largest Ball of Twine" to contemplate knitting the world's largest sweater.














Intriguing. Yes?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are those arm holes I see?

An updated progress photo--

We've got arms!

Even though I love the original pattern, I've made several adaptations to the original design. Many of the changes were after seeing the finished product on Pinku.
The pictures and descriptions from that blog inspired me to start knitting this sweater at 2:30 in the morning last week Monday. Please tell me I'm not the only one this happens to...



The biggest alteration I've made is that I'm doing a 9 stitch braided panel instead of the original bobble cable pattern. It's not that I don't like bobbles...it's just that...okay, I just don't like bobbles. This sweater is being knit out of Nashua Handknits in Evergreen which is a fantastic Wool/Alpaca blend. Because it's a chunky weight yarn, my gauge for this sweater was considerably larger than the pattern. This hasn't been a problem, its just required some extra trying on throughout stages. Once I finish the body portion of this sweater, I'm going to begin the ribbing on the sleeves much higher up. I'm hoping that this will give the sweater a puffy-sleeved look at the top similar to the Elizabeth Bennet cardigan in Stefanie Japel's book Fitted Knits.

A Day's Worth of Coffee

First post, how exciting.

Sooooo apparently I'm blogging...? I'm not quite sure what even means, but I'm okay with it!

I created this monstrosity to share with you (not sure who "you" is exactly) the knitting projects I'm working on and everything else that seems relevant. My apologies ahead of time. The current project consuming my free time is this




This is the beginning of the sweater "Forecast". Which I started this past Monday. It's actually a little further than that--after spending the bulk of my afternoon at a Dunn Bros, I was able to divide the sleeves and continue with the body portion. More pictures to come soon.