Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shameless Kitty Pic

Well, my Fawkes sock is moving right along. The sizing is perfect, and the yarn is striping up really beautifully, and my kitty Tisha is just about the prettiest kitty in the entire world. Luckily she is modeling the partially completed sock for the world to see.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Socks for Kim

Being an excellent sister-in-law, I am making a pair of socks for my brother Mark's wife Kim. She already has one pair of inside-out socks which you can check out on Ravelry, but this pair I wanted to be more special.

As of today I have tried 3 different socks using this beautiful yarn. It's spectacular, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock Medium weight in Azure Malachite. It's like the Caribbean Sea and I think she will love them. BUT not like they are above.

I have had a few setbacks. The first sock was the Monkey, and I did it on size 3mm needles, and was too loose and looked terrible. I then moved to size 2.5mm needles and started the second sock Spring Forward, but that really needed the lightweight yarn from Blue Moon and after casting on and making the cuff with the wrong number of stitches, and then attempting again to make it toe up with no success. The size was too big, and the 2.5mm was really too tight. I was discouraged. Insult was added to injury when the needle tip of my brand new 2.5mm Knit Picks needles slid off it's cable. I have only finished one sock with this needle...

So here I am. Her birthday is on the 14th. And I have the above jumbled pile of yarn.

After and extensive search on Ravelry, I found Fawkes! Cool socks, she loves Harry Potter, the gauge is right, AND most excitedly I found some double pointed needles in 2.75mm.

Executing the tubular cast-on for the third time in as many nights, I got this

This is the best my sock has looked yet. I am excited and I am continuing to knit!

After continuing I am now finished with the cuff and beginning with the pattern of the leg. I feel so much better about this sock, and hope that it turns out to be the winner.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Net Duffle Bag - Success

I fell in love with this bag when I got spring Interweave Knits, and immediately went to my LYS to get the linen yarn. It is pricey, but completely worth it for an item like this. I was first introduced to Louet Wet Spun Linen when I made the Mason Dixon after dark Nightgown from Mason Dixon Knitting. Excellent nightgown, fantastic book.

But I digress... I very rapidly made my way through the solid bottom of the bag, and then realized, once again that I was knee deep in a project that involved "squares" I think back to numerous projects where I made granny square blankets, I was very ambitions at first and excited then after square 5, I was officially bored, and it took everything in my will power to get the project done.

Fast forward to the net duffle bag and the 72 "units" (they aren't squares, they are "v" shaped) but the same principles hold, I was very excited when I finished them all and was just one handle away from having the coolest bag at the beach/pool/farmers market.

I happily began the handles, 145 stitches seemed like alot for the top part of the strap, but the rest of the pattern had been perfect, so who was I to argue. After a full day of knitting, I managed to finish one side of the handle. I excitedly stood up and put the bag over my shoulder, and watched with horror as it swung down to my knees. It did not sit smartly at my hip for easy access while shopping, I was INCREDIBLY annoyed, and the bag had to take a break.

This past weekend I brought it out, and measured where I wanted the bag to fall and how long the handle should be, 70 stitches, not 145. So this is what I did.
1. Followed pattern instructions on picking up and casting on stitches along the sides, placed the marker, CO 70, placed another marker and began a purl row.
2. Began the next knit row with a SSK, right after the first marker, this looks better than what is proposed in the directions.. then did the s1 k2tog psso in the middle, and the k2tog on the last 2 stitches before the next marker.
3. purl (and so on) until there are 8 purl rows showing (15 total garter stitch rows)
4. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off, first I tried to just CO regularly, it made a tight and uncomfortable ridge, so this worked much nicer. The I-Cord is a ton of work, and I didn't think it made sense with the feeling of the bag.

For the second side of the handle I followed the directions, but I picked up the 70 stitches from the handle that I had just finished. It looks great, and is very comfortable.

Finished project looks like this:

I am extreemly happy! I just got the summer Interweave knits this weekend, and there is another bag, that is similar and involves felting and lots of bright colors. I think i'll definitley be giving that a try.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fun with Perspective

One of the things that makes knitting so much fun is color. Sometimes I enjoy lively and vivid creations, but sometimes i just want something mellow. I just saw the newest sock color at blue moon fiber arts, Sun Kissed Sand, totally beautiful and so mellow on this the 4th rainy day in a row. I am almost back on the beach in Maui... *sigh*

I am currently knitting the 2008 Rocking Sock club May shipment, the color is "incredible shrinking violet" and the pattern is Cleopatra's Stockings. It's a vivid purple reminiscent of the violets that will be coming out of the ground soon. The pattern is pretty, but lacking in alot of direction. Luckily I have done a number of socks from Cat Bordhi's book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, this book really teaches the sock knitter about a sock goes together, and those vague patterns never seem vague again.

Next up will be frogging and reworking my Net Duffel from the Spring Interweave Knits! My kitty Ginger is helping.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goodbye 2008 hello 2009

Well.. that took me a long time.

I didn't do as much knitting in 2008 as I would have liked. I did not knit a single sweater! I am very proud of this fact. I got through a few pairs of socks and learned to make bears for those having babies.

I knit this Seascape Stole for my brother's wedding, I used kidsilk night from Rowan, and it's beautiful. I had to add alot more repeats, but I had plenty of yarn (3 balls).

In general 2008 wasn't a banner year, and I'm happy to refresh in 2009,

I currently am knitting socks like crazy and the Shipwreck Shawl from the spring Knitty.

Look for more pictures soon! and enjoy.