Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Thank You, & Always Trying Something New

Here's my last set of stitch markers I received in the most recent swap. Aren't they beautiful?

They are made by Robin from The Robin's Nest. That's right, that's some handmade soap in that box, called Minty Fresh. I love it. Robin is definitely multi-talented! Thanks again Robin!

Cindy's Rusted Root is driving me a little crazy. I thought the medium size was too small for her, but I'm thinking the large is going to be way too big. I wish she was here so I could have her try it on all the time. I'm thinking I'm going to have to rip back again, and maybe add some more decreases at the waist. This thought is making me nervous, since I NEVER have the courage to alter a pattern. But, the time has come to step out of my box. However, I hope to see Cindy later on in the week, and have her try it on so I can take some more precise measurements. I'm so horrible at math. I know, hard to believe I can make it as a knitter, huh?

So what's the cure for a WIP that you just can't seem to get right? That's right, cast on for yet another project! I couldn't help it. My extra needles for my Knit Picks Options set came in the mail Saturday. Remember, I couldn't start the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, since my Size 6 needles were in Rusted Root? Well, wait no more! I now have TWO pairs of every size needle from 4 to 10.5 for my Options set. I started the FCS on Sunday, messed up (before I had put a lifeline in) and started over again yesterday. Here's my progress.

I know, it's a fairly small shawl at this point. I've only done the set up rows and about 6 rows of the first body of the pattern repeat. I'm new at the whole knitting with lace weight yarn thing, so it's coming along very slowly. I'm knitting very deliberately, but I'm loving it! And of course, I'm using The Plucky Knitter Laceweight in Wuthering, which is knitting up beautifully, don't you think? I mean, look at those colors! Gorgeous! Thanks again to Sarah for allowing me to be a test knitter. I have to say, this yarn is SO soft and wonderful to work with. It just slides through my fingers, and works great with my Knit Picks needles. I hear firsthand that The Plucky Knitter yarns may just be in an upcoming Loopy Ewe sneak up. Believe me, you want to buy this yarn. It is luxurious!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Love Saturdays

I participated again in The Stitch Marker Exchange. (I really think stitch marker collecting can become as much of an obsession as yarn collecting.) I have received some great packages this week with some gorgeous stitch markers inside! First, a great set from Kimberly (notice how she even sent them on a decorated safety pin!) I love these color combos.
And second, a set from Cass, who says this is her first time making stitch markers. Looks like a pro to me! How pretty are these beads? And, Cass also sent this cute set of note cards. I love them! I actually collect note cards and journals, and these are a perfect addition to my collection - how thoughtful!I definitely have some great partners! Thanks again!

Here is The Plucky Knitter Lace Weight Yarn wound:
(I have to admit, I love winding skeins of yarn. How did I ever live without my swift and yarn winder?)

I realized the other night that I'm planning to swatch for the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl on Size 6 needles. Of course, I went straight to my set of Knit Picks Options. However, I soon remembered that my Size 6s are being used right now for Rusted Root. Not a problem, I thought. Maybe I could just swatch on Size 5s and see how that goes. Or, I could spend a little time today at my local LYSs and online, searching for the new Addi Turbo Lace Needles. I chose the latter, but to no avail. No one had a Size 6 in site. This is ok. It's actually a good thing. I mean, I was getting ready to spend money on a needle I pretty much already have. Granted, I really wanted to try the new Addis, but I don't need to. Besides, it sounds like the Knit Picks needles are sharper than the Addi Lace Needles anyway.

This is just more motivation to finish another WIP! (Soon!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I received my yarn from The Plucky Knitter's Etsy Shop. How beautiful is that?! Here, take a closer look: The colorway is Wuthering Heights. It is a skein of 900 yards of Hand Painted Merino Lace Weight. Sarah says the yarn is "Hand Artisan Yarn" from Uruguay; single ply. It totally reminds of Malabrigo (which some of you may remember is my favorite yarn.) I have been wanting to try the new Malabrigo Lace Weight, but I'm thinking now I've found something better in The Plucky Knitter! Recommended needle size is 0-3 US, although Sarah also states it also worked great on a US Size 9. As her description says, it is definitely luxuriously soft and gorgeous. Hand wash cool, lay flat to dry instructions, very normal for merino lace weight yarn. I'm planning to wind it this evening. I'm really excited to see it in a nice yarn cake, although part of me wants to keep it in the skein and simply fondle it. However, I promised Sarah I would be a test knitter, so I must knit this yarn! I've picked the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, a pattern that has been in my queue for quite some time. I think this colorway will be fantastic for such a pattern. I will keep everyone updated on how it winds, knits up, and so on.

On other knitting news, I had to rip quite a bit of Cindy's Rusted Root Friday night. I thought I would try it on; I had gotten down a good 5 inches or so since that last picture. As it turned out, the size was practically perfect for me, which meant it would probably be too small for Cindy (she has a much better figure than I do!) But, I wasn't too discouraged. I simply ripped until my lifeline, and started the next section over, in the next size up. It's coming along well, although I'm thinking after this slight set back, it will not be done in time for her birthday celebration this Sunday. That's ok, I already have a few other presents for her (can't tell you what they are; Cindy sometimes reads my blog!)

I've spent a lot of time on Ravelry this past week, finally. I was invited a while ago, but could never seem to find the time to get my notebook updated. I think it finally is. I added all of my yarn into the "Stash" section today - boy, do I have an embarrassing amount of yarn! The great thing about this is that I now see my stash in project form, and it's kind of like keeping a "Things To Do List" now. I can knit from my stash, and then update my listings in Ravelry. It will also help to hold me accountable (I hope!) Plus, I really enjoy searching through everyone else's notebooks as well. There are so many talented knitters out there!

I'm also working on getting myself set up for Skype. After listening to the SSK Podcast with Shannon and Stephanie, I got pretty excited about it. I really wanted to participate in their first Virtual Stitch 'N Bitch, but I didn't have a microphone or headset at the time. Thanks to Amazon, now I do. I just need to take the time to figure out how it all works. The Internet never ceases to amaze me!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sorry for the Delay

Thanks so much for the kind comments of people wondering where I was - it's nice to know I was missed! I usually try to blog on the weekend, but last weekend was used up with babysitting my niece for 3 days, and then having to work. And this weekend? Well, it was on my list of things to do... Somehow I always end up getting distracted. I hope today's post will make up for time lost!

First of all, some great news. My friend Sarah, The Plucky Knitter, has opened her very own Etsy shop! She is so talented; her yarns are beautiful. She has also asked me to be a test knitter and possibly do a review. I'm so flattered! I honestly didn't think I was a good enough knitter to be a test knitter. The best perk? I get to fondle some of her gorgeous yarn! (I really think this is a ploy on Sarah's behalf to get me to lust after her yarn, knowing that if I have the chance to touch a skein, I will definitely want more. She is very smart, and she knows me well!)

Speaking of yarn, Nora asked me today if I had any additions to my sock yarn stash. Embarrassingly enough, of course, I do! First up is yarny goodness from Jen at Wool Girl. Let me start by saying Jen is such a sweetheart to work with! She has fabulous yarns to choose from. And she'll even offer to set some aside for you if you have a special request. She did that for me with my request for Pigeon Roof Studios in the Punk colorway. That's the two skeins on the far right. Next to those is Union Center Knits WhatNot Sport in Wool Girl, and on the far left is Lavender Sheep in Bad Girl. I think I'm going through a slight pink phase. What do you think?

My next picture of absolutely yummy yarn porn is Lime 'n Violet Sasquatch sock yarn in Xanax. Love the colors, love the name. I was so excited that I had the chance to get online and catch that update. I happened to be off that day watching Maria, and she was taking a nap. Usually I'm at work when all the updates take place, and it's really hard to sneak online and shop for yarn at work! (Although I have done it - don't tell my boss!) Anyway, here's the beautiful skein.

And a close up.

On the knitting front, I'm finally back in the swing of things. I know I've talked about this before, but it's just amazing to me how much time I spend online looking at knitting, rather than actually doing it. I was on the Internet quite a bit this weekend. But, I'm making the commitment now to knit and finish these projects that have laying around for a while. First, I finished a Malabrigo scarf. I know, knitting yet another wool scarf in the springtime. Yes, it got up to 82 degrees this week. But this is about finishing, people, and knitting from the stash! I had to find something that would knit up quickly, and get me back in "finishing" mode. Now I'm excited!

Pattern: none, just simple garter stitch

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Marron Oscuro, 1 skein to knit, and some leftovers from the hat that I used for the fringe

Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 7

Started: 5/20/07

Finished: 5/30/07

I also spent some time working on Rusted Root for my sister Cindy, although I feel like it hardly looks like I made any progress!

Stephanie talks about this phenomenon in her latest book; how you can spend all this time knitting and knitting, and then when you measure your garment, it still measures the same as when you started. But I'm determined! Actually, I'm hoping to finish it and give to her as a birthday gift. Her birthday is June 18 - am I being realistic? I feel like I am sometimes an awfully slow knitter. However, back to my earlier comment: I am limiting my time online. I think that will help tremendously. Must...Complete...More...Projects!

Other projects I'm working on? 1.) Of course, that stinkin' Toshiko Tote that I started when I first learned to knit. 2.)And the second sock of the Jaywalkers in Scout's Swag (also for my sister, by the way. Hmm, maybe I should plan to give her a pair of socks for her birthday instead of a sweater...) 3.) And finally, the second sock of the Heelless Sleeping Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks in Mountain Colors Bearfoot (I think I just got bored with this one.) I am also all ramped up about starting some Spring/Summer knits, but I plan to finish at least one more WIP before I cast on something new. I did order two kits from kpixie yesterday: Flair, by Knit and Tonic, and the Eyelet Cardigan, by Blue Sky Alpacas. Both will be in Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton. Plus, I used my gift card for Michaels on some Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Maize to make the Turtleneck Tube Vest from Fitted Knits. I want to knit just about every pattern in that book. Never mind the 6 million pairs of socks I need to knit up. See why I have to stay off the Internet? Although I've really been wanting to spend some time updating my Ravelry account...