Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's A Wrap

Stole. Wrap. Whatever you want to call it, I am knitting it. As you can see by the oh so lovely pictures, I have started my very first lace project. I am knitting the Juno Regina Wrap (Stole) from Knitty. (Sorry MB, didn't mean to be so secretive when I put it up on my side bar the other day. I must have been having brain issues because I totally gave this project a different name. I'll just call it a *code* name. It was close to the actual one!)

I am knitting Juno with my Gossemar clearance yarn from Knit Picks. The colorway is called Lephrechan and I think I am actually going to really like this color for myself. As I said before when I posted the purchase of this yarn, I am not a green person, but I see wearing this with a pair of comfy jeans.

For this being my first time knitting lace I think it is going rather well for myself. I was concerned because it is so FINE! I had another lace pattern in mind for this yarn, but I didn't want to have to do a crochet cast-on and then knit into it and then remove it for my very first lace project. Ugh. I'm sure doing a crochet cast-on is fairly easy, but since I had never done it before I didn't feel like tackling it. I wanted a project that I could start right away.

I haven't picked up any knitting since last Thursday. I don't feel I can bring this baby to work because of all the charts you have to reference. I didn't want to totally screw it up. I'm not working on anything portable at the moment so I haven't been knitting. I have been making it a point to hit the gym after work every day. I am trying to get back into my running form and when I get home, fed and cleaned up for the evening I just want to crawl into bed with a book and go to sleep.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Non Knitting

This post is so totally non-knitting. I actually haven't done any knitting since I finished the Newsboy Cap on Friday.

What have I been doing with my free time? I've been reading and have been totally entralled with this book my sister gave me to read. It's called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. What a fantastic book!!! My sis had been telling me how good it was but I didn't realize how good it was until I realized I couldn't put it down. I have been so drawn into the characters/plot that I can't wait to turn the page and find out what's next. This book is 850 pages and I am on page 752. I tried very hard to read those last 100 pages last night but my eyes wouldn't let me.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read historical fiction books, with some romance. This is the first book in a series of six and thank goodness sis lent my the second book in the series!

Here is the synopsis of the book I found online:

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

For all you knitting fans, there will be some knitting news this week. I did start a new project before I finished the cap but I haven't made much progress so far.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Yes folks. Your eyes are not deceiving you. I have completed the Newsboy Cap tonight. I was so thrilled with the finished object that I actually decided to take a picture of it with me modeling it for you all. Not too bad for self portraits, hunh?

This is a super easy, super quick knit! I started it Monday and finished a mere 4 days later. The body of the cap is knitted on 10.5 needles so that definitely helped with the speed.

I have a very good friend, I won't name names, that blundered a month or so ago when I mentioned her referring to this pattern for help with a pattern of her own. She immediately informed me that she didn't like the pattern. I smiled and looked at her and said, "Well I was planning on knitting it." Oops. Needless to say she was very embarassed and tried to dig herself out of it. I just told her not to worry about it because she didn't have to like the hat because I did.

Well my friend hasn't seen the finished hat yet but she did see it in person with the body being completed. She said she actually liked it much better in person. To me it doesn't matter if she really likes it or not, I'm not one to rule someone out of my like because we have a difference in opinion. I do enjoy teasing her about it though.

I'm really glad I knitted this up, instead of knitting it with my friend Lisa (whom I'm teaching how to knit). I encountered an error in the pattern and am very happy to have caught it now, instead of sending Lisa home to knit and have her trying to figure out what the heck was wrong on her own. I'm meeting up with her tomorrow after she gets off from work to catch a movie and then teach her how to cable. I'll even wear my new hat proudly!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Headline News!

I am stash busting! By only 1 skein, but hey it's a start.

Some of you know I have been wanting to knit the Stitch 'n Bitch Nation Cabled Newsboy Cap for some time now. For the longest time I really didn't know what yarn I wanted to use. Well over the weekend, while I was working on my Knitty Thermal, I realized I had a skein of yarn in my stash that matched the Thermal color perfectly. Awesome!

This skein of Patons Classic Wool has been in my stash for probably three years now. It's leftover from a year I knitted Christmas gifts for the family. The pattern calls for 200 yards of worsted yarn, and even though I have used some of the yarn from this skein, I should have plently because 1 skein is 223 yards.

Yesterday my friend Lisa came over and I showed her the pattern. Now she is going to make it too. She is a beginner knitter and I thought this hat was the perfect pattern to teach her how to do cables and picking up stitches.

I started the hat this morning at work and made a lot more progress that I thought I would. I have started to shape the top of the hat with decreases. I imagine I will have this done in no time. Very easily a quick weekend project!

Peapod Progress

Ah yes, I have been making progress on my Peapod Baby Set. I will have this project done by the end of this month. I really don't have too much more to do as of right now.

Friday morning, after I slept in as late as my body would let me, I decided to pull out my Ott-Lite and seam up the shoulders and sleeves of the sweater. While I could have attached the sleeves to the body, I chose not to. I just didn't feel all that ambitous to seam those tiny sleeves to the body.

Then by sometime on Saturday, can't really remember the time of day whether it was morning or night, I tackled the picking up of collar stitches. 58 stitches wasn't all that bad right? Well it only took me two tries to get it the way I liked it. While the collar is complete in this picture, you obviously see I didn't tackle those sleeves yet.
So what else could I do but get on with attaching the sleeves? Hehe I decided to go ahead and knock the hat out. I casted-on for the hat on Saturday night and by mid Sunday morning I complete up through the leaf lace pattern. Just have a few more rows to do and then I guess I will not be able to put off the sleeves any longer.

Hope to have a picture of a completed ensemble soon!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Perfect Fit

Another FO for 2008 and this one was completed in 5 days. A sock really does tend to go quickly when you are just doing a basic stockinette sock. This is my own toe-up version. I used the Magic 8 cast on, Gusset/Flap Heel and topped it off with a 2x2 Ribbing Cuff. I have to say the gusset/flap heel is my favorite because it really contours the sock to your foot. Everytime I have knitted a toe-up sock with this method I have achieved a perfect fit!

Here are the stats on Jay Sock. Started January 14th and completed January 18th. Yarn used was Colinnette Jitterburg in colorway Jay. I used size 1 Knit Picks circular needles. Method used was toe-up with 2 circs.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tripley Good and Some New Yarn Too

1) Knitty Thermal - Isn't it amazing how this has grown over the past couple of weeks? Up until Monday, this was my *bring to work* knitting. As you can see here, I am about 50% done. I am working on the back of Thermal where I will put one set of shoulder stitches on a holder, shape the neck and then work the other shoulder. I am quite pleased how quickly it is knitting up, especially with ALL those stitches. I promise. I won't do the math on how many stitches I have done anymore. Don't want to scare anyone away from knitting this sweater. I will be knitting this again for sure.

2) Peapod Baby Set - No this has not been forgotten. Last Thursday night into Friday, I started and finished these sleeves. I need to seam the shoulders together and pick up the stitches for the collar. After that, it will be seaming the sleeves and attaching them to the body. I have further comments on this project, but I will reserve them for a future post. What? I can't share everything at once. Gotta keep some stuff for the future.

3) Jay Socks - Yup I casted on for another pair of socks Monday while at work. I guess finishing my last pair almost 3 weeks ago was enough time to get some sock mojo back. I actually couldn't wait to start knitting with this Jitterbug yarn, but I was having a hard time deciding what pattern I wanted to do. Well, as you can see, I am just doing a basic stockinette toe-up sock pattern. I feel this is all the beautiful yarn needs. Now I am thinking a sweater in a matching color?

And guess what? I am blog contest winner! When I commented on Kim's blog the other day for her almost 1,000th Comment Contest. I honestly did not think I would win. I mean at least 6 people commented before me and I was just thrilled with the idea of her blog hitting that monumental comment number! I met up with Kim today for lunch and she bestowed upon me a prize of this beautiful, and super soft, sock yarn from Sundara Yarn. The color is French Navy over Topaz. Isn't it yummy?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Paid FO

As promised yesterday, even though I didn't promise it would be today, here is my first 2008 FO! This is the Koolhass Hat from Interweave Knits Gifts Holiday 2007 issue. I had attempted to knit this hat back in December as a Christmas gift, with a different yarn of course, and had a really tough time knitting it even though it is a relatively easy cable pattern hat. I actually ripped out the hat 3 times before I said, "Forget It" and knitted a different hat with the yarn.

But alas, it is a new year and I have conquered this hat pattern! I started it on January 3rd and finished on January 9th. The yarn used was Berroco Comfort, color #9761, and not even 1 full skein. The ribbing is done on size 6 needles and the body of the hat is done on size 8.

So did ya'll notice that the title of this post? That's right. I got paid to knit this hat. I have to admit it wasn't much but it was a start since this is my first ever paid knitting project. A co-worker of mine saw me knitting this hat back in December and asked me how much I would charge to make one for him. I didn't know, but eventually threw a dollar amount out at him and he said, "Ok. I want one." Of course I thought he was joking, because so many people ask me to knit them something and they want it for free. When I realized he was definitely serious, I was down for the assignment. I was even paid in advance!

He received the hat today and was thrilled to get it. I took a couple pictures of him wearing it, but he didn't want his face in the pictures. So here is a top down and front view shot of the hat with me blurring out his face. I am really pleased with how it turned out. I will definitely knit this hat again!

Now, I have another person who wants me to knit a scarf and gloves for her. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

That's Alot of Waffling!

If you have 17 rows of Twisted Ribbing times 252 stitches you get 4,284 stitches. Then if you have 16 pattern repeats of a 4 row pattern that equals 64 rows. 64 rows times 252 stitches equals 16,128 stitches. Add 4,284 stitches to 16,128 stitches you get a whopping 20,412 stitches. So what does that look like? Well here it Knitty Thermal! That's alot of waffling if you ask me. This has been my *bring to work* project this week. I am loving the feel of the Knit Picks Gloss yarn. Oh and did I tell you? This is being knit on size 2 needles! I am using Harmony Wood needles from Knit Picks and they are awesome.

Here are my completed Fawkes Socks. I finished them at the end of December while in SC. I knitted them in the medium weight STR colorway *Hot Flash* on size 1 needles. I wore them for the first time last night and they are very warm and comfy!

Can you say M-A-L-A-B-R-I-G-I-O? I definitely did when my sister Mary Beth and I visited Island Knits in Pawley's Island, SC. This was my first live encouter with this yarn and it just jumped into my basket - all 3 hanks! I am going to be knitting this yummy yarn into a shawl that MB is going to be creating for us. The square buttons go with it. I also picked up the Jay Jitterbug yarn. It was the only one there and I snatched it up. I've been loving this yarn color ever since Kim knitted her Jay socks. The best part of this yarn purchase was that everything was 20% off.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

More Christmas Gift FOs

I was running around like a mad woman finishing packing the night before my flight to SC in December that I didn't have time to post some more Christmas Gift FOs before I left. So here they are now.

First up is the Provence Throw. The yarn used was Classic Elite Provence Yarn in colorway Sky/Baby Blue. I only used a little over 7 skeins for this blanket. I do, however, have 9 skeins leftover to make something else with it. Remember I told ya'll that this yarn was destined to be a different blanket years ago? Well that is why I have so many skeins leftover. Anyway, the recipient of this blanket did remember the yarn from all those years ago and was thrilled to have received a completed blanket. I was told that he was going to sleep under it the night I gave it to him. (BTW, thanks to my photographer Lisa for taking this pic of me with the blanket)

Next up is the hat I knitted for Kim. I used Berroco Touche yarn in colorway Moss. This is a basic hat pattern that took a little over 1 skein of yarn.

Finally, a co-worker of mine had been asking me for a couple of months when I was going to knit him a hat. My response was always the same, "Where's the money?". To his surprise, I knitted him this Basic Ribbed Hat. He did not expect this at all! For this hat I used Knit Picks Shine Worsted in colorway Ebony. I used 2 skeins.

So I'm sure ya'll think this is the end of my Christmas FOs, but let me tell you, I will have 1 more to share on Monday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome the New Year

I am absolutely amazed at how fast 2007 went by for me. Ever since I entered the blogging world I have accomplished more than I ever thought I would. Shameka first peeked my interest in blogging after reading hers for a few months. However, the day I met Kim outside my office building, and she took a picture of me knitting for her blog, I knew I just needed to take the plunge. Little did I know that my sister Mary Beth was right behind me. Now six months later, I have made new friends and completed a whopping 21projects (9 of which were Christmas presents).

I finally made it back from my wonderful 9 day holiday visit in SC on Sunday. While there I finished my Fawkes socks, started the Peapod Baby set (body is complete; need to start the sleeves), casted-on and started the ribbing for the Knitty Thermal and also started/completed another Christmas gift that I'll reveal in a few days. I'll post pictures of all knitting later. Believe it or not I even got some scrapbooking completed. Only a couple of spreads but at least it was something.

Anyway, my family who received knitted gifts loved them this year.

Dad received a completed pair of 2-tone socks in a basic stockinette pattern. The yarn used was Louet Sales Gems Opal in Beige and Tan.

Do you think he liked them?

Mom received a pair of Elfine pattern socks. I used the Knit Picks Memories yarn. My mind is drawing a blank of the colorway. Doesn't matter because it's discontinued anyway.

Here mom is letting her shoulders model that socks while she pulls out the other goodies in her Santa bag.

Finally Mary Beth received a pair of Falling In Love socks (which I believe will be the last pair I ever knit - I have done 3 pairs now, whew). Again I used the Knit Picks Memories yarn in colorway Redwood Forest.

Isn't she just lovely showing off those socks?

So what does the new year hold for me? Well I think the concept of only having 4 knitted projects going at once worked very well for me. Of course while doing these projects I am allowed to cast on for gifts. I have yarn in my stash that I definitely have attached to projects that will get done very soon.

My scrapbooking goals will be more reasonable this year. Mary Beth and I are going to have a challenge of completing 104 pages this year - that's 1 two page spread a week. I would like to complete all my photos from 2007 and finally finish the last couple of spreads for my 2003 album to be complete.

Running will always have goals for me. This year I will be completing my 2nd marathon in November. Nothing will keep me away from it this year. Throughout the year there are some half marathons I want to complete along with shorter races.

Other personal goals for me would be to get my freelancing career off the ground! I finally have all the items I need to get started (computer and software). My first goal is to design and get my own website up and running by the end of February.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

P.S. I'll have to post the pics of the yarn I purchased while in SC. I didn't fall down too hard. Everything was on sale! It just added to my Enstashancements. Besides, it won't marinate for too long.