Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Does it count?

Am I allowed to declare February's Goals met if I'm done with the actual knitting, but can't sew the pieces together until the blocking pieces are dry??

If so, I can officially declare February a success. If not, oh well, one day off my target during a short month isn't bad at all!

I have finished the knitting on the Cropped Lace Top and the sleeves are still drying. Tomorrow I will be able to do the seaming and get photos.

The Victorian Lace Scarf finished drying last night and I love it! There's even enough of the yarn left over to make matching wrist warmers .... which I will probably do later this year.

Pattern: Scarf with striped border, Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: Hand Dyed Superwash Merino, LaughingRat Studios
Started: 1/21/2007
Finished: 2/25/2007

Since I am done with February, it is time to start thinking about March goals. Of course, I will be working feverishly on Mermaid. Also slated for completion very soon are Paul's gloves. I received my Knit Picks order yesterday, so now have enough yarn to finish them. The scarf I started for my daughter needs to be finished so she can use it yet this year. And, I am expecting my first STR kit in the next week or so. That will complete my main goal list for this month.

There are a couple of projects I would like to start on if I complete the main ones. I have a couple skeins of sock yarn from LaughingRat Studios that I had dyed for hubby. I'd like to get him a pair of socks made up from at least one of them soon. Also, I keep looking at Pullover Flair from IK and have enough of a suitable yarn for it in my stash. Must use some stash along with all the new yarn purchases. Also, in the latest IK there are a couple of the staff projects that I want to make. First on the list will be the lace thong to go along with the nightie I made. Paul couldn't be happier lol.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mitten Maniac

That should be my new nickname :o) I think I have a different pair of mittens for every day of the week. And, of course, there are several more pair on my "I wanna knit that" list. Mittens and socks .... things I can never have enough of. I had hoped to have these done on Tuesday evening, but I got on a roll Sunday and Monday and wound up finishing them a tad early. They are now freshly washed, blocked, and ready to take to work with me tomorrow.

Pattern: Anemoi Mittens, Eunny Jang
Yarn: Elann Baby Cashmere
Started: 1/21/2007
Finished: 2/19/2007

You know those hourly goals I have to meet my daily goals to meet my monthly goals? Well, they are certainly coming in handy to use as justification for working on my 5th sweater for the Sweater A Month Knitalong before I'm done with the 4th.

I am going to have to move Paul's Sanquhar mittens to my March goals list as I am certainly going to run out of yarn and need to order some more. No way will the order be received in enough time to complete them by 2/28. So I am now left with the lace scarf and the *bonus* Cropped Lace Top. I've decided if I meet my daily goal of 10 repeats on the scarf, and my daily goal of 2 pattern repeats on the top, I can Mermaid to my heart's content for the rest of the evening.

Last night, the scarf had 80 repeats done of 110, and the top was through pattern C (still needs D and E to finish the front), so I was able to work on Mermaid for a bit. I made it through the first gusset before putting her away for the night.

A bit closer shot that shows the true colors.

I am really liking this pattern, and am not finding the instructions as confusing as some comments I've seen led me to believe they would be. I'm thinking instead of socks, my mother might get one of these this year for her birthday :o)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mired in the Details

Am I the only one who gets mired in the details of knitting goals? Oh, I don't just mean does anyone else set goals for him/herself, then strive to meet them. I mean actually drill down to the most minute of details regarding that goal.

For instance, I spend just a few minutes choosing the projects I want to complete during a particular month, then spend the next 2-3 days casting all of them on and relishing in the delight of a new project started. After those first few days though, I really take a look at what I've carved out for myself. Is it too much? Am I setting myself up for failure? Well, let's take a good look at it. It took me about an hour to do those 10 rounds on the mitten (plus start dinner, chat with hubby, take a smoke break), so if I have 40 more rounds to do then the thumb to knit, I should be able to finish this mitten in about 5 hours. If I spend 2 hours tonight and 2 hours tomorrow on the mitten, I should be able to finish it up on Sunday. But you know, the Cropped Lace Top is in need of some attention. After all, I finished up the back 3 days ago, then set it aside. I should spend some time casting on the front and knitting a couple of the lace patterns. It took me about an hour per pattern to do the back, so if I spend an hour tonight, an hour tomorrow, and an hour Sunday, I will be half done with the front. Wait, that means more than likely I won't spend the full 2 hours needed tonight and tomorrow to get the mitten done on Sunday. No problem, I'll do an hour per day on the mitten and be done with the pair on Tuesday. Of course, I've been itching to work on Mermaid (decided it would fit better using size 3's instead of the 2's I was using so had to start over and I hate to leave frogged projects alone until they are back to their previous state of completion). Dart a guilty glance toward the knitting bag holding Paul's Sanquhar gloves, and decide some time really needs to be spent working on them. And on and on and on.

Next thing you know, I have a steno pad out with a list of all the days left in the month and start writing out daily goals in order to meet my monthly goals. Of course, I'm a tad agressive with them, but not so agressive that there isn't the possibility that I will meet them and be able to work on something I shouldn't have cast on in the first place. Yeah, yeah, I know, but if I didn't start Mermaid when I did, I wouldn't be able to wear it before it's too warm. (have I mentioned I can rationalize just about anything).

Anyone else get that mired down in the details, or am I just hopelessly anal?

Anyway, as mentioned above, I did finish the back of the Cropped Lace Top. The front is now cast on and I've completed pattern A (yay! only one more daily goal to meet before spending time with Mermaid). This should be finished up pretty quickly once I've finished the Anemoi mittens.

Speaking of Anemoi mittens. Yes, I do have 40 more rounds to complete before knitting the thumb. And, yes, I do plan to have these done on Tuesday, unless I get on a roll and am able to finish them sooner.

I had gotten Mermaid to the first gusset, but it just seemed like it was going to be too small. The pattern calls for a 3mm needle, which falls between a US2 and US3. Since the small size could be a tad smaller for me, I decided to go with the US2, but after doing some math on the gauge I was getting in the actual garment (which darnit wasn't the same as the swatch I did), it was going to be skin tight and that just wasn't going to do with this sweater. Off the needles it came last night and I wouldn't put it down until I had gotten it to the point where the last picture was taken. Alas, that wasn't the first gusset, but I'm allowing myself to work on it any day I meet my daily knitting goal (there are those details again!)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Nasty storm went through here today ... and it's still going if I'm not mistaken. We were getting 1-2" of snow per hour when I went in to work this morning, and the ice hit just as I was leaving. Over half our office called in and worked from home today, and as the morning progressed, more and more people left early. I was one of the last holdouts, but finally got out of there about 1:30 with a folder full of work. Put in a few more hours after getting home, then sat down for some extended knitting time.

As I thought, I was able to finish the (Sunny) Bolero this weekend. I won't be able to get a modeled photo until Paul is back in town. This is the second bolero I've made from this pattern, and I might make a couple more. I love this pattern. It's simple and straightforward and knits up very quickly. Just the sort of thing you need when you've gone completely nuts and committed to knitting a sweater a month. Not that knitting a sweater a month is impossible, it's just that everything on my "I gotta make that!" list is involved, if you know what I mean.

Pattern: Fiery Bolero, Interweave Knits Spring 2005
Yarn: Lion Brand Microspun
Started: 1/27/07
Finished: 2/11/07

Also finished (but not photographed until now) is the Moss Grid Hand Towel. Does my powder room looked prissed up? I have threatened death to any of the offspring who makes this disappear!

Pattern: Moss Grid Hand Towel, Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Euroflax Linen
Started: 1/27/07
Finished: 2/5/07

Tonight during American Idol, I finished up the first of the Anemoi mittens. I plan on concentrating on the 2nd this week and hopefully having the pair complete this weekend. I really like this pattern, but don't think I would recommend it to someone doing their first fair isle project. Not unless they were very adventurous. The mitten is so soft and warm. Gotta love alpaca and cashmere!

Since I finished up the bolero, I decided to cast on my next sweater. This is knitting up so much quicker than I thought it would. Maybe it's because I love lace and haven't knit anything lacy in quite awhile?? This photo really doesn't do it justice. I'll try to get a better photo next time I post progress on it. I should be able to start the armhole shaping this evening. If I continue at the rate I am going, this should be done by next weekend.

Remember in my last post I said I had ordered 2 Hanne Falkenberg sweater kits? Well, I got them from , and I highly recommend them for these kits. My order was placed last Wednesday evening and I received the order yesterday afternoon. How's that for fast shipment?? I knew I would want to cast one of these on as soon as I received the kits, and I wasn't wrong. I gave in to that itch even though I shouldn't have. I cast on for the Mermaid Jacket. My chosen colorway is black/cypress/kingfisher. I can already tell this will be one of my favorites for cold weather wear. The yarn is yummy! And what an ingenious design. I got hold of myself after a few rows today and put her away until the Cropped Lace Top is finished. Then I can Mermaid all I want. More incentive to complete a project or two. I also bought the kit for the Ping Pong Jacket, which will probably be cast on shortly after Mermaid is complete. So much for St. Moritz being started soon.

Friday, February 9, 2007

A Day of Knitting and Nursing

I had planned to post this update on the Fiery Bolero last night, but never got around to downloading the photo once I started knitting on it again. *sigh* I hope this isn't a sign of me going back to my old ways of taking tons of photos and once every couple of months bombarding my blog with a huge FO photo post.

Anyway, once the Bell Sleeve Jacket was completed, I turned my attention back to the bolero, which should henceforth be referred to as the Sunny Bolero. No way can that bright yellow be considered Fiery. This really is a surprisingly portable project since it's all knit in one piece from back hem, over the shoulders, then down to the front hem. And there's just enough shaping to keep your attention, but not so much that you can't carry on a conversation while knitting.

As of 5:00 pm last night I was 6 rows from casting off for the neck opening.

Today, my plan was to take my daughter to get her wisdom teeth out, then work 1/2 a day. I wound up not going into work however, since she had such a rough time. Poor thing was in surgery for almost 2 hours. Her upper teeth were badly impacted and the Dr. had a tough time with them. Vicodin isn't doing squat for her pain, and her poor face is swelled to double it's normal size. I remember swelling, but not like this. She's swelled all the way up to her eyeballs. And side effects from "removal of impacted wisdom teeth or trouble teeth"? She has every single one of them. Swelling, fever, sore throat, tight facial and neck muscles, earache. Only problem is, she can't get to sleep. I feel so bad for her :o( In between trips to the freezer for ice packs, running to get cold water, fresh gauze pads, towels, etc. I worked on the bolero.

I am now at the point where I start casting off for the sleeves and decreasing for the lower front shaping. Since the rows will be getting shorter and shorter, I think I will be done with the body knitting before turning in tonight. That will leave the 2 side seams, then the sleeve and edge ribbing to do tomorrow.

Woohoo!! I will be able to cast on my 4th sweater for the SAM Knitalong this weekend! Good thing too, since I have officially gone crazy with yarn/pattern purchases this year. Yeah, I know it's only February (and the beginning of such at that). That's what I mean about going crazy with the purchases. So far I have added 10 pattern books to my library, have paid for the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin Sock Club, and ordered 2 Hanne Falkenberg sweater kits. Isn't that nuts!! I know once I get those kits, I'm going to want to immediately cast on and start knitting, so I really need to get a sweater or 2 that I already have yarn for done before the package arrives.

I've managed to get a bit of knitting done on the Anemoi mittens this week too. Not a lot of progress, but I may concentrate on these as a main project next week to get them off the "goals" list. A couple nights of focused knitting should do the trick! And, since Paul is going out of town on business next week, I'll have plenty of uninterrupted knitting time in the evenings.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Bell, She Is Done!

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on the Shocking and Bell Sleeve Jackets. I'm quite pleased with both sweaters myself :o) Can't wait to get started on sweaters 4 and 5 for the knitalong either. Sweater 3 is in progress (Fiery Bolero, Interweave Knits), sweater 4 will be the cropped lace top from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006, and sweater 5 will be St. Moritz from Dale of Norway.

Speaking of Bell, she was ready to wear this morning. Of course, as soon as I got home from work I made Paul start snapping photos so I could show her off.

I simply cannot put into words how very much I love this sweater. I love love love it!!! It fits me great and it most certainly kept out the chill in my office today. Always nice when you can manage to get fashion and function to work so well together isn't it?

The only thing I don't like so much is that only the belt keeps the jacket closed. I think this weekend I will add a couple of hook and eye closures to help with the "gaping open" problem. In the photo, it still seems a bit on the greenish side to me. Guess a new digital camera is in my near future :o)

Pattern: Bell Sleeve Jacket, Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006
Yarn: Cascade 220
Started: 1/14/07
Finished: 2/4/07
Modifications: Since the sleeves and collar were edged with a nice 4x4 ribbing, I chose to add that to the hemline also instead of just using the reverse stockinette band in the pattern. I like the way it makes the flair below the waist stand out even more.

A few questions from comments answered:

Why yes, Carol M, I do sleep. I just don't fall asleep as early as hubby, so I have a couple of hours of uninterrupted knitting time in the evenings. I'd agree to add your "to do" projects to my goal list, but then you wouldn't have the joy of completing them yourself (are you buying this?)

Sock Princess and Aunt Gerry, I am still interested in the yarn meter. My only problem is getting out on Friday's. Things have been hectic at work. Thought I was going to make it this week, but Jenn is getting her wisdom teeth out, so I won't be able to make it. Maybe next Friday?

You're probably right Sock Princess. I do drink way toooooo much coffee. Lack thereof, however, will not stop me from knitting every second of the day in which I can fit it in.

Julie, I don't want to hear "putting me to shame" from you. I don't spin, and I don't have to take care of little ones. So there!

Stefaneener says I am scaring her LOL. If only she knew how easy those 2 sweaters really were. I love patterns that knit up quickly, but look complicated. Makes the knitter look good eh *wink*

Monday, February 5, 2007

A Little Progress is a Beautiful Thing

The Bell she is done! I washed and blocked her yesterday, but alas, she was still a bit damp this morning so I couldn't wear her to work. She will definitely be ready for the required modeled photo shoot tomorrow however. With that major project done, I turned my attention to a couple of the smaller projects I want to get done by month's end.

I made a fair amount of progress on the Moss Grid Hand Towel. Most likely will put the finishing touches on it tonight. Once it's been through the wash so it isn't all stiff and icky I'll get a nice picture.

I also got a good bit of work completed on the lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today. Once finished I really do have to find a better lit spot to take a photo so the colors in this yarn show up. This pattern is very easy to memorize (even the border pattern), so it's been a good project for working on while out and about.

Although I don't have a progress photo to show, I worked on the Fiery Bolero also ..... seems silly to call it that since it's jubilently bright yellow lol. I've completed the back, and cast on all the stitches for the sleeves. If I remember right, the first of these I made a couple years back only took me a few days, so I think I'm safe saying I can put the finishing touches on it this weekend. All depends on how much time I feel like devoting to the scarf or the sanquhar gloves.

I've been considering buying the yarn for St. Moritz soon and adding that to my March (and April) goals list. Not sure if I'm up for another "Dale in a month" deadline, but who knows what wild hair I'll get!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Am I A Madwoman or What??

As if the aggressive monthly goals I am setting for myself each month weren't enough, I decided to go and up the stakes. I joined a knitalong. Not just any knitalong mind you. A Sweater A Month Knitalong!! This means that along with all the other projects I have on my wish list for this year I am committing to completing 12 sweaters by year's end. Three of those sweaters will be real "mutha's" too. Vail, Torino, and St. Moritz .... all Dale of Norway (similar to the sweater I made Paul for Christmas). St. Moritz will definitely be for me. Haven't decided which of the other 2 will go to Paul and which will be for me yet. Maybe I'll let him decide :o)

I am not afraid however. After all, we are just barely into February and I'm almost done with my second sweater already. Progress on the Bell Sleeve Jacket are going remarkedly well. I should be done with the collar piece this evening before turning in, and tomorrow I should be able to complete the edging on the collar and hem. That leaves only seaming the collar, weaving in a few more ends, and knitting the belt. She will most definitely be done this weekend.

I finished seaming the main parts of the jacket this evening after work. Sure wish I had a better camera (and better light in my house too), so the photos really showed the detail. I love the flair at the hem and cuffs.

A bit closer shot which shows more of the detail. Hopefully the modeled shot of her once she's complete and blocked turns out better. The color in these isn't even true. On my monitor it looks more greenish than the bright blue it is.

My third sweater will be the bright yellow Bolero cast on and pictured in my last "goals" post. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to cast on the fourth (the cropped lace top from VK Holiday 2006) before month's end. I bought some yummy baby pink laceweight mohair from Elann a week or so back in preparation for this sweater.

Believe it or not, I've even been able to make some progress on the scarf and hand towel the past couple of days too. By tomorrow I should have enough done to post progress photos of those.