Sunday, April 27, 2008

Something Old Part I

Before I show any of new my projects, I thought it was appropriate to address some of the old ones!

The fronts and back of my Gathered Pullover has been complete for 2 weeks. Today I decided to finish off the the back shoulders and attach them to the front. The pattern originally has you bindoff/seam the shoulders, but I really didn't want anything to do with that. After reading what people had done on Ravelry with this pattern, I decided to attempt short-row shaping for doing a 3-needle bindoff at the shoulders. This was the first time I've really deviated from a pattern as written and I was a wee bit nervous. However, once I got past the first front shaping it was a piece of cake. So the body is complete, with the exception of weaving in the ends.

I went ahead and plowed into starting the sleeves. For some reason I thought they were knitted flat and then seamed, but after reading closely, I realized these babies are done in the round. Woo Hoo! Less seaming in this project. I refused to knit the sleeves on dpn's and I didn't have a size 8 needle circ with a short enough cable. So what did I do? Look out now. I decided to Magic Loop them. A new technique here. It really is easier than it looks, but since this was my first time doing it, I am knitting 1 sleeve at a time. I'm taking it slow. After an afternoon of knitting, I have completed half of the first sleeve. I just started the increases.

The only modification I made here to the pattern is I knitted 1.5" longer than the pattern stated before starting the increases. The sleeves on the model in the picture look on the short side. I prefer a bit longer sleeve that comes down over my hand, instead of just starting at the wrist. I don't know how many times I'll be able to wear this sweater before it gets too hot, but with the temperatures dropping back down today made me want to get it done!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Winner Is!

Thank you to everyone who left comments on my First Lace post! I think from the combination of all helpful suggestions will make the blocking of Juno Regina a little less painful. With any luck it will get blocked this weekend, but I'm not 100% sure yet. Of course I will post a picture of it once it is done.

So now, who is the winner of my very first contest? I went to the random number generator thingie and plugged in the number of comments and out came lucky number 13! Who is that? It's Mary a.k.a. Momma! Yay!!!! My mother is blogless but she has a love for the creativeness. From time to time she comes out of hiding to comment on mine and
Mary Beth's blogs. What is funny is that she won MB's blog contest a couple months ago and now she's won mine. She's one lucky woman! Once I know momma has received her prize in the mail, I will post a picture of what handmade item she won from me.

Next time, I have lots of knitting to update ya'll on!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My First Lace and Contest!

Lookie! Lookie! I ended my work day on a high note today. I completed my Juno Regina Wrap 30 minutes before punching out for the day. I still need to weave in the two ends and block her, but hey, she's done!

I know this picture doesn't show Juno in all her glory with her wings spread out. Right now, the length is roughly 65 inches. Holy Guacamole! The 42 inches for the middle part seemed to take me forever. But strangely, it wasn't a dull knit. I still had to count the stitches as I went between all my markers. I think having to pay close attention to what I was doing is what made it a little more of a *pleasurable* knitting experience. Once I finished the middle section on Saturday, the last pointed section flew on my needles with no problem. I was even able to bring it as my travel knitting this week.

Here are the stats:

Started: January 23, 2008
Finished: April 16, 2008
Yarn: Knit Picks Gossamer (2 skeins)
Colorway: Leprechaun
Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 3

Now I have a question for all you lace knitters. How should I go about blocking this baby? Do I dunk it in water and then pin the heck out of it and let it dry? Do I pin the heck out of it and steam block it. How do I handle blocking the whole thing at once considering the finished length? Being this is my first lace project, I have no idea what is the best thing to do. Help!

Leave me a comment with some advice for my current predicament and you'll be entered in My First Contest. Even if you never knitted with lace, I'm sure you could come up with some sort of creative solution and if not you'll still get entered just for commenting. This contest does not discriminate - all advice (whether sound or not; even funny) will be accepted as an entry.

What's the prize you ask? Well, it is something created by me. Those who know me, know I knit, sew, scrapbook, etc., so it will be something you won't want to miss out on. Some yarny goodness will be included in this prize package! So come on now. Bring on your comments! I'm ready.

Want to double your odds of winning? Link my contest post (predicament) on your blog and I'll enter your name twice into the yarn pot. Make sure you mention you are linking in your comment to ensure you get the credit.

Deadline? Since I won't be blocking Juno this weekend, I will be accepting comment entries through next Thursday, April 24th. I will be announcing the winner on Friday, April 25th.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tilter Dusted

A little Tilted Duster update. Some probably thought this might be a long forgotten project. Alas no. After I finished my Knitty Thermal a couple weeks ago, I knew I needed to progress one step further with another sweater project before allowing myself to cast-on for the Gathered Pullover. The last time I mentioned the Duster, I had finished all the upper body pieces and was about an inch into the ribbing on the sleeves. Now the sleeves are finished!

Even though I started the Gathered Pullover on April 1st, I didn't give up on my Duster. This past Saturday I stripped the sheets off my bed and blocked all the pieces. It was late in the day when I did this, so I put off the seaming until Sunday.

On Sunday I gathered my wits and set myself to the seaming (no chocolate involved). I was so engrossed in this, that when my sister called me I told her I had to call her back. I was on a roll and didn't want to stop. Who knows when I would have gotten back to it?!?!?! Ok, yes I know I would have immediately picked it back up, but ya know, I gotta be a little dramatic.

I found picking up the skirt stitches a little more difficult that I thought it would be. I read the directions several times before commencing so I knew the amount I was to have. I believe I pulled out and picked back up all stitches at least five times. I was sooooo proud of myself when I finally had the correct amount.

Of course though, I had a teensy eensey problem. I picked up the wrong amount of stitches. Arrrggghh. After struggling and perservering with picking these stitches up the first time, I had to rip out and start all over. I picked up the amount of stitches for the collar not the skirt. Big difference between 130 stitches (collar) and 182 stitches (skirt). Good news is that it only took me two tries this time.

Here is my Tilted Duster in all it's glory! I have been dutifully working on it since Sunday afternoon. I had made some amazing progress on my Gathered Pullover by then, that I didn't mind putting it to the side to work on this. As of last night I have about five inches completed on the skirt.

My goal is to complete this sweater and my pullover in the next couple of weeks. Believe it or not, I really don't have much left to do on them so hopefully it won't be a problem.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New On The Needles

Exhibit A:
Retro Rib Socks from the Favorite 25 Socks book
Yarn: Lorna Laces Shepherd Sock; Colorway - Tickled Pink
Needles: Knit Picks Fixed Size 2
Start Date: March 25, 2008

I have completed Sock #1 up through starting the shaping of the gussetts. This is my first experience knitting with Lorna Laces sock yarn and I am absolutely in heaven. I had no idea how the colors were going to pool and I am quite pleased with the turn out of it.

The only thing I have to say about this pattern is that I should have listened to my gut when it came time to divided the stitches and do the heel flap. I am happy to report that with this sock, we did not have the double amount of heel flap rows (as I did with the Cable Sock). I successfully divided the stitches and looked them over before continuing. Everything looked good but it seemed strange on where the division fell. At the point, my gut was saying, "Hey maybe you should see if there is errata for this sock! Just in case you know?". However, I plunged forward did the heel flap, picked up the gussett stitches and then started working back in the round. When it came time to do the first round of the insole stitches pattern I knew something was terribly wrong. The pattern did NOT match up with the types of stitches on my needle. At this time I was too tired to investigate further.

Note To Self: Check For Errata Prior To Starting A Pattern

I checked on Thursday and guess what everyone? Sure enough there was a mistake in this pattern and it went all the way back to when I divided the stitches. I haven't frogged yet, but will soon.

Exhibit B:
Mini Poncho by Meema Spadola from Interweave Knits, Fall 2005
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted; Colorway - Col China
Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 10
Started: March 30, 2008

I bought this yarn over the Christmas holidays down in South Carolina with my sister Mary Beth. I had heard of all the ravings of knitting with Malabrigo and drooled over the opportunity of doing so. I had purchased two skeins of this yarn. This is not the original project planned for this yarn. However, the concept is almost the same. The previous project was going to be a wrap.

This one is a Mini Poncho. It is knitted in 1 long rectangle and then one end is seemed to the top edge of the other end. I am not going to incorporate the flower as in the original. Instead I have buttons that I will use to make it look like it open and closes.

Exhibit C:
Gathered Pullover from Interweave Knits, Winter 2007
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca; Colorway - Oceanic Mix
Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 8
Started: April 1, 2008

I had committed myself to finishing my Knitty Thermal before I would allow myself to cast-on for the Gathered Pullover. I even did myself one better by not casting on for it until I made more progress on my Tilted Duster (Update in another post). So I thought April Fool's Day was as good as any to start it up, especially since we are starting to get a little warmer weather. I want to be able to wear this sweater before it gets hot, hot, hot!

In addition to the Lorna Laces yarn, this yarn was purchased on my yarn crawl with Kim and Shameka a few weeks ago. Yes, these yarns did not sit in stash for very long. Knitting with this yarn is absolutely wonderful. As you can tell by my progress pictures, it's hard to put down. In five days I am at the point of working the left front. All the center front cabling is completed. All other stitches are on holders waiting to be worked. This is a very fast knit!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

FO Thursday

Or rather, it was FO Friday last Friday! I know I am a tad wee late on posting this since tomorrow is Friday. Almost a week since I finished my Knitty Thermal. Last Friday morning I assigned myself the mission of finishing this baby before I did anything else that day.

So at around 9am, 10 mini peppermint patties (5 for each sleeve) and 2 hours later, my mission was complete! I held my breath when I tried it on for the first time. I always get nervous because I never really know if things are going to fit me right or the way I want. I exhaled with a sigh of relief. It fit perfectly.

I even wore it to work on Monday. Let me tell you, this sucker kept me warm, maybe a little hot. I wore a very light t-shirt underneath it, but I think even without the t-shirt, I would have been warm. Maybe the air condition was malfunctioning at work that day?

Here are Thermal's stats:
Started: December 28, 2007
Finished: March 28, 2008
Knit Picks Fixed Harmony needles sized 2.5
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss; colorway Burgandy; 6.5 skeins (I purchased 8)

Need For Speed Relay: Fight Against Domestic Violence

(50-Miles from Bear Mtn to New Rochelle) - June 8, 2008

Click here to help me reach my fundraising goal!
This means more than you know.

Thank you from my heart to all who have already donated, and those that will!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Out With The Old, In With The New

Need For Speed Relay: Fight Against Domestic Violence
(50-Miles from Bear Mtn to New Rochelle) - June 8, 2008

Click here to help me reach (preferrably exceed) my fundraising goal!
This means more than you know.

Thank you from my heart to all who have already donated, and those that will!

I am in the process of moving the old out and the new in. On Sunday I finally went and purchased new running shoes. I desperately needed them and found the time to finally purchase them. Can you tell which ones are the new ones above? Sad isn't it?

It's actually very hard for me to chuck the old running shoes. I'm quite a sentimental kinda gal, and these shoes have crossed some milestones in my running life. During the past year and a half they have been there when I've set new PRs times (Personal Record for all you non-running friends), run my best Half Marathons and most important victory of all, crossing the NYC ING Marathon finish line in 2006 (my very first ever).

I joked with a running friend of mine that we could bronze them like baby shoes. We shared a good laugh over the ridiculous thought of doing that (I'm sure someone out there in this world has done just that). So for right now, my old running pals will reside on a shelf in my closet until I deem it time to part with them. Tomorrow, my new pair begins it's journey with me. These one's will get the extra special treatment of being the shoes I train in for my second marathon that I am running in NYC this November.

It's also quite a coincidence that purchasing my new shoes has perfect timing. Nora announced a running proclamation on her blog today. Wouldn't it be something if it was an April Fool's joke? Regardless, she can count me in!

Stay tuned in this week. There will be another FO, a new project and a Contest Post! You don't want to miss out.