Wednesday, November 25, 2009

31 Days

I find it absolutely amazing that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that Christmas is only 31 days away! I have been unemployed for nine months, but yet I feel this year has flown. Maybe it's because I have a particular special someone in my life that took me all over the place this past summer and continues to brighten my life each and every day - even when we're not together.

So as we go into celebrating our thanks tomorrow with family and friends, I want to share some knitting updates.

I have finished another Christmas gift. This one is the Vanilla Toe-Up socks for one of my nephew's. Even though his foot is bigger than mine, it didn't stop me from modeling them for you.

Pattern: My own plain vanilla toe-up
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug - Colorway: Toscana
Needles: Knit Picks Size 1.5
Started: November 7, 2009
Finished: November 17, 2009

It's been a long time since I've done a toe-up sock. Knitting this pair up reminded me why I love toe-up's so much. They knit up SO fast!

Great progress has been made on DB's sweater. Everything has been knitted, blocked and seaming has begun. As of right now, I have one sleeve attached. I have some gripes about the yarn, which I will share in a post of all it's own, but am thrilled to almost have the sweater done. DB is really looking forward to wearing it too!

I started, and almost finished, another Christmas present yesterday. One of my nephew's wanted an earflap hat so I thought I would knit up a Thorpe for him. The pattern calls for a chunky yarn, but I substituted a worsted weight.

Before MB left NY, we decided I would knit the medium on size 9 needles. After finishing the knitting yesterday I tried it on. It fits me really well and I fear it will be too snug for his head. I even had DB try it on last night and it was snug on him. Sooooooooo, since I have plenty of yarn, I am going to cast-on for another and this time knit the large for my nephew.

This one will become mine. I just need to tackle the crochet edging to call it an FO.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Say A Star

I say it's a Flower! That is in the middle of my Hemlock Ring Blanket. I've been working on this blanket for just over a week now and some real good progress has been made.

I just attached my second hank of yarn last night and have completed up to Row 51 of the Feather and Fan chart. The blanket is getting kind of heavy on the needles now and tires my right arm out a bit. I am generally getting anywhere from 5-15 rows done a day. I split my knitting time up between this and other projects because of the weight. Right now there are 440 stitches to be worked and that number increases every 5 fifth row.

I was asked how quickly this was really knitting up. I quote, "And please, when you answer this question, try to put your answer in terms of Normal Person Knitting Speed--not Speed-Demon Deborah's Knitting Speed.". Do I know how to answer that? Hmmm. I think what I have completed in a week could be done by a slower knitter in about 2 to 2.5 weeks. The yarn is bulky and on size 10.5 needles. That contributes to a quicker knit. Plus, once you get to the Feather and Fan chart there is 1 row of lace pattern and then 4 rows of straight knitting. Pretty easy since 4 out of 5 rows are knit.

I was also asked if I really could knit two for Christmas. To quote again, "Two before christmas? Really?". Ummm. Somewhere in my mind I imagine myself being able to complete two of these blankets before Christmas. I don't think that is just a fantasy rolling around in there. lol All my other projects are on the smallish side so I am hoping that if I work on the blanket alongside these other ones I could get both done. We shall see though.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Can't. Stop. Knitting.

Yes I know my fingers are flying all over the place with all the knitting that is going on in my little ol' apartment these days. I guess this is better than pigging out on chocolate all day long, right? I really only have 5 weeks to get all of my Christmas gift knitting done. That leaves me with 1 week and 3 days to allow for shipping for said gifts to arrive in their appropriate destinations.

Right now the only thing I am knitting that isn't a Christmas gift is my Darling Boyfriend Sweater. Great progress has been made on that. I have one completed sleeve and the other is about half done. I could of had the second sleeve done over the weekend, but I got completely frustrated with the new hank of yarn I was using for it. Seems like this one was a dud. Every few inches I go there is a HUGE slub of yarn that has to be cut out before I can continue. Never fear though I will prevail and kick some yarn slub bootie!

That is a 27.5" long sleeve! DB has some looooong arms.

In regards to Christmas knitting, I started the socks I want to gift to one of my nephews. He has asked his mom why she hasn't knitted him socks yet. I told her I would take care of it. I am using my Vanilla Toe-Up Sock pattern. One sock is done and the other has some good progress on it.

I started a Hemlock Ring Blanket yesterday. I am planning on making two of these as Christmas gifts. I got the yarn I needed at $24 a blanket. Really an inexpensive gift that will hopefully be treasured for a very long time. I'm currently up to Round 41. Can you see the flower in the center?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Proof of Life

I have been dutifully knitting away these days. Can't believe we are in November already and Christmas will be here in 7 weeks. Those of you who know me are aware that I generally knit my Christmas gifts. This year is no exception. While juggling Christmas projects, I have also been working on a sweater for my DB. I'd like to say right here that if anyone mentions the "Sweater Curse" I will send them a cyber smack. ;-) So onward with my current projects.

I found the perfect yarn at Rhinebeck for my Darling Boyfriend Sweater. I couldn't wait to get started. After discussing with DB his likes and dislikes on his favorite sweater, I decided the best route to take on the sweater was to create one of my own design, with guidance from "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" by Ann Budd. After 4 attempts of getting the right number of stitches for cast-on on the back, things have progressed rather nicely.

The Back.

The Front.

The 1st Sleeve Attempt. The needle in the middle shows that I was getting ready to rip back 24 rows because I wasn't happy with the width.

The sleeve as it stands now.

I am truly enjoying knitting this sweater. It has required me to think, focus and come up with a way to get the desired outcome I am looking for. I am looking forward to having it complete and show pictures of DB modeling it.

There have also been some FO's in my house. Well 1 completed FO and 1 Half FO.

The Half FO is my Froot Loop Sock. I grafted the toe closed on Sock #1 yesterday. I started this sock back in June and procrastinated on getting it done. I had a couple of motivating factors recently to get this sock off the needles. 1) I purchased Cookie A's sock book last month and have drooled over several of the patterns I want to knit up right now (but won't until Froot Loop is done) and 2) I need the needles to knit up some socks that will be a Christmas gift. Until the gifts socks are done, we will just be looking at Froot Loop Single Sock.

The completed FO is, of course, a Christmas Gift. One of my nephews has wanted a scarf for a good bit now so I decided that I would oblige and give him one this Christmas.

Pattern: Men's "Merino Silk" Scarf (Last Minute Knitted Gifts)
Yarn: Manos Silk Blend (2 skeins; Colorway 3104)
Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 6
Started: October 20, 2009
Finished: November 4, 2009
Mods: The original pattern called for a worsted yarn. Since I used a DK yarn I casted on 31 stitches instead of 21. I also knitted until I ran out of yarn. The finished dimensions are 5" wide and 63" long.

Something else on the needles is this little black lacy number. My niece requested a thin black scarf for Christmas. My sis passed this info on to me along with the pattern to be used. I am knitting the "Lacy Accent Scarf" from Glam Knits using Zephyr yarn. I currently have only 5" of the required 72". I move a bit slower on this knit because of the delicate lace yarn (it's really like thread). However, I know that somehow I'll get it done.