Monday, April 30, 2007

Light at the end of the ......


Why yes, I do believe I finally see the light at the end of my Mermaid. I finished one sleeve Saturday, and cast on the second yesterday. This should be complete just in time for the other 2 kits I ordered to arrive. Ummmm yep, I ordered 2 more Mermaid kits Friday. One for me in fun greens and blues, and one for my mother in luscious purples. I think I'll start with the sleeves on both those when I cast them on.

I've completed my 4th pair of socks for the 52 Pair Plunge. I can't wait to get the ribbon for these. I love them!!

Pattern: Elegant Ribbed Socks, Favorite Socks
Yarn: Heilo, Dale of Norway
Started: 4/21/2007
Finished: 4/30/2007

Warning!! Rockin Sock Club spoiler below. If you don't have your kit yet, and want to keep it a surprise, close your browser now :o)

I received my kit last week, and I'm so proud of myself for holding out until yesterday to wind the yarn into a cake lol. Like I really need another pair of socks on the needles right now. Wasn't my last post about finishing in progress projects before starting new ones??

But, I ask you, who could resist casting on these?? The yarn is a silk/merino blend and it's luxurious beyond words. I see myself ordering more of this once it's available.

I am making the regular length version of the Grasshopper socks, but will be buying more of the Silkie yarn to make the knee high version at a later date. Aren't these beautiful?

I made myself put down the sock in progress last night and finished up my required number of ridges on the Mermaid sleeve. I'll continue to do this until she is done, then all bets are off and the Grasshoppers will have my full attention!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Too Many Projects!

Well, I've gone and done it again!! Just when I was congratulating myself on the new project self-control, I had to go and cast on yet another one.

The goal was to have 1 sweater, 1 pair of socks, and 1 misc. project on the needles ONLY! As of tonight's count, I have 2 sweaters in progress, 2 pair of socks in progress, and 2 misc. projects in progress. Time to buckle down and finish some of these.

Although I won't post a photo until it's washed and blocked, I did pull out the Chevron Stripes Hand Towel and do the last couple of repeats tonight. I will start on weaving in the eleventy-gazillion ends tomorrow night, and should have it through the laundry and photographed by this weekend. Whew! Now only have 5 projects on the needles.

I cast on a Mermaid sleeve Sunday evening and have been working a bit on it each night. I really need to put some more effort into finishing this sweater, but all I can think of is cool linen and cotton tops for summer.

Speaking of cool cotton tops for summer, I cast on a new sweater for the Sweater A Month Knitalong. This one is from the Nashua Handknits Designer's Collection, like the crochet tank I just completed. I love the lace pattern and so far it's going pretty quickly. The yarn is yummy. Nashua Handknits Ecologie Cotton. I love the subtle shading .... and whadayaknow, it's not pink!

Also cast on, although it shouldn't have been, is the Leg Cozies pattern from Lace Style. Jenn says the leg warmers are "really cute" .... and we know that's saying a lot from someone who "doesn't like knitted stuff". I will forgive myself for casting on a project ahead of schedule since it is a gift for my daughter. Well, that, and I haven't yet cast on something for the Lace Style Knitalong. Hopefully these will go quicker than that hand towel did.

There has been some, but not much, progress on the sock front too. A couple more repeats of the ribbed cable pattern and I will be ready to turn the heel and knit the foot of the first Elegant Rib Sock. These are knitting pretty quickly for the amount of time I've spent on them. Due to the weight of the Heilo no doubt.

Even less progress on the Tofutsies sock. I should know better than to do straight stockinette socks. You'd think they would knit quickly since there is no thinking involved, but my mind wanders too much doing straight stockinette and I wind up putting them down in favor of something with more challenge after only a few rounds. Looks like there may be more baby socks in the near future to keep me on track in the 52 Pair Plunge.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sock Sunday?

Today's blog post is supposed to be about socks, and nothing but socks. Problem is, I spent the day happily knitting along on just about anything except socks lol.

I finally pulled Mermaid out of the bottom of the knitting bag and finished the body piece. It was not the chore I kept imagining it would be, so I'm hoping that once I cast on the sleeves progress will continue at the rate it was about a month ago. I haven't seamed up the collar or shoulders yet, but this is basically what she will look like. I am so happy with the colors I chose. This will be a staple piece of my wardrobe next winter.

Yesterday I did the final few rounds on the ribbing of the second Hidden Passion sock. Finishing these keeps me right on track with the 52 Pair Plunge. Three complete pair of socks in three weeks. I hope I can keep up the pace :o)

Pattern: Hidden Passion, Favorite Socks
Yarn: Cider Moon Haiku
Started: 3/22/2007
Finished: 4/21/2007

As I thought, I was able to finish all but weaving in the few final ends on the V-Neck Tank. After showing her to some fellow knitters yesterday I've decided that I will, in fact, try to wear her to work. If I get strange looks I'll know she is a bit too loud for the workplace and only wear her during non-work hours.

Pattern: V-Neck Cotton Top, Nashua Handknits North American Designer Collection No. 4
Yarn: Mondial Lucente
Started: 4/6/2007
Finished: 4/20/2007

I couldn't decide which pair of socks to knit next, so I quit struggling with temptation and just cast on both pairs. As long as both are complete in 2 weeks I will call the experiment a success.

Even though they are knee high and made of 100% wool, I've been dying to make the Elegant Rib Socks from Favorite Socks. I am using the called for Heilo and will purchase ribbon to wear them like they are modeled in the book. These, of course, will sit in the sock drawer until fall, when it is cool enough to wear them.

The other pair of socks that was calling my name are some plain vanilla stockinette socks made with Tofutsies. I've seen some comentary on the yarn over the past week or so, but don't agree with those who don't care for it. I guess it's all just a matter of taste, but I find the colors fun not ugly. I wonder what type of needles those who find the yarn too splitty are using. I'm not having trouble with splitting so far, and am knitting mine using rosewood dpns from Lantern Moon. Maybe since these needles don't have too sharp a point I am having more success than some.

I am just about to outgrow my sock drawer. Any other knitters having that problem?? What is your solution?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Progress at Last!!

Much progress made on the Hidden Passion sock in the past 2 evenings. I believe I will finish the leg pattern tonight, then only have the ribbing to do tomorrow. That will keep me on track in the 52 Pair Plunge. I will even get an early start on pair 4!!

I am really liking this yarn! Too bad it's a tad too expensive to make all my socks from. The silk makes them super soft and I feel like my feet are being pampered every time I try on the finished sock.

There is also good progress on the V-Neck Tank. I will be able to finish all but the edgings before going to bed tonight. Hope it warms up soon so I can wear her :o)

I've already purchased the yarn for my next sweater and will hopefully be able to cast it on this weekend. Really need to get back to Mermaid and finish her up too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Overdue Update

Bad habits die hard I guess. I promised myself that I was going to update at least twice a week, but I didn't make it last week. It was another of those weeks where Paul was travelling on business and I was working overtime. Every night I planned on taking progress photos and blogging, but every night I thought "I can do it tomorrow, I'm too tired tonight and just want to sleep".

Gotta make up for it with a post that is a bit photo intensive.

Progress on the Hidden Passion socks isn't going as quickly as the Retro Rib socks did, but we do have progress. I finished the first sock, and the second is now just about 1/2 done now.

A photo from last Wednesday shows some progress on the second sock.

This evening's photo shows a bit more progress, though not as much as I would like. Attaching the sole is a bit tedious and I expect progress to go much more quickly once that is complete.

Since I wasn't going to complete the Hidden Passion socks in one week, I chose to next cast on a quick pair of baby socks for a co-worker who is expecting. I love this pattern and will probably make her more from all my little balls of leftover sock yarn.

Pattern: Ruffle Rib Socks, Interweave Knits Summer 2005
Yarn: Koigu
Started: 4/15/2007
Finished: 4/16/2007

I haven't touched Mermaid since I cast on the Cotton V-Neck Tank. This will be one of those really quick knits. In fact, I'm done with the knitting part and am on to the crochet. Pretty sure this sweater will be done by this weekend with the progress I am making on it. Just a few more repeats of the lace pattern on the bottom, then the armhole edging to do. I really like this sweater and just hope it doesn't turn out to be too loud to wear to work this summer.

Monday, April 9, 2007

What is it with the pink?

Am I the only one who's noticed that just about everything I've knitted for myself lately has been some sort of pink? Hmmmmmm ..... I went through an orange phase about 2 years ago. Maybe the lime green in the Hidden Passion socks will influence me next. We'll see.

Speaking of the Hidden Passion socks .....
A fair amount of progress since I put them down last night. I'm just about 1/2 way through the leg pattern. I think I might even finish these before going to bed tonight. Depends on how much time I spend here in blogland.

I was originally going to start a couple pair of boot socks for next, but I think I might do some baby socks as quick projects so I have more time to devote to the sweaters I have on the needles.

I haven't posted about progress on Mermaid in awhile, but there's not a whole lot to post about. I still have about 6 more rows and the i-cord edging to do before I'm finished with the body. That little burst of spring we had in Ohio dampened my exuberance in finishing her. No hurry if I can't wear her right?

Instead, I cast on for another sweater, which I can wear until it gets cold again. Of course, right after I cast it on the weather turned and it got downright stupid cold again. It was colder here on Easter than it was on Christmas. Isn't that crazy??

Again in this project we see the pink. Hot pink, bright magenta, and hyacinth purple.

Susan asked if this was being knit in one piece, and asked the same about the Cropped Lace Top I did last month (also in pink *sigh*)

Yes, the tank is being knit in the round, but the pattern isn't written that way. When I first cast on, I did like the instructions said, but didn't like the stripes I was getting. I re-cast on in the round and like it much much better now. As for the Cropped Lace top, I followed the pattern for that and knit it in pieces. The seaming was a pain since it was feather light mohair, but I suffered the pain of it for the final product.

Way back when, Kamala asked what size Bell Sleeve Jacket I had knit. I did the smallest size, which I believe was a 28-30. I am a 32, but with this stretchy ribbed sweater, I wanted a bit of negative ease to show off the cabling. Something for those planning to knit this project to think about.

Natalie mentioned that my glove (when not complete yet) was still further along than hers, and she had been working on hers for 1 1/2 years.

Dear, don't despair. Did you take note of the amount of time I had to knit to complete the afghan from hell aka The Husband Blankie? It was in it's 3rd year before I finally cast off. And, I'm ashamed to admit, Paul has been using it all winter and I still haven't woven in the ends LOL!!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sock Sunday

I really wanted to post my progress on the Retro Rib socks yesterday, but I didn't get them finished until very late. All I wanted to do at that point was weave in the ends and go to sleep.

Pair 1 ... day 6

I really like the way these turned out, and may have to make myself a pair later in the 52 Pair Plunge.

Pattern: Retro Rib, Favorite Socks
Yarn: Cider Moon Haiku
Started: 3/18/2007
Finished: 4/7/2007

This morning I pulled out the Hidden Passion socks I had started. Couldn't resist this angled photo to show off the hugs and kisses.

This photo was taken just before I turned on "The Tudors". I am now past the gusset decreases and ready to start the pattern stitch on the leg.

My new favorite needles for socks! Lantern Moon Sox Stix. Isn't the bag they come in cute? Those who know me, know I love my wood needles, but I always manage to break them. At the price I pay for them, I can't afford to be doing that. Turns out it was the length (7") and the way I hold the needles that was causing the problem. I snapped up several pair of these dpns when I saw them. They are the perfect length for socks (5"), and so far I haven't broken a single one :o)

Tomorrow, more on the socks, the new sweater, and answers to questions in comments.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Am I ever glad this week is over!!

I think this week tops my list of all time least favorite weeks at work. Let's just say that if it could go wrong, it did .... if it could break, it did .... and if it could stress you out, it did in spades.

To make myself feel better, and hopefully bring back those thoughts of warm weather (it went from 80 one day to 30 the next here), I cast on my next sweater for the Sweater A Month Knitalong. I've chosen a V-neck Cotton Tank from Nashua Handknits Designer Collection. It should knit up pretty quickly. The yarn is Mondial something or other (must remember to save one of the labels for after knitting stats), and the colors remind me of a bed of petunias. Just the ticket for cabin fever :o)

I neglected to keep up on my sock progress posts, so will make up for it in a few photos .....

Pair 1 ..... day 3

Pair 1 ... day 5 (only did about 2 repeats on day 4 so it wasn't worth a photo lol)

I always have company when I knit. My border collie/lab mix lies on the floor next to the bed and peers at me through the mirrored closet door. Looks like he's wondering when I will put down the needles already and give him a good belly scratching doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Twas a Manic Monday!

I really wanted to post daily progress photos of my 52 Pair projects, but I just couldn't bring myself to turn on my computer last night. I put in a 10 1/2 hour day at work and didn't get home until 7:30 last night. By the time we'd called in an order for dinner to be delivered (who wants to cook that late?), and I'd washed my makeup off, all I wanted to do was get in my jammies and knit a bit before sleeping. Soooo my progress photos will be "off" by a day this week I guess :o)

I did do some work on the felted needle/hook holder I wanted to do in April. It went so quick, and turned out so cute after felting, I think I'll make more of these using leftover wool in my stash. I did the actual finishing last night, and felted tonight after work. I'm thinking since I have just a tad more of the blue left I will make a felted flower to add some personality to it.

Pattern: Crafty Compartments, Crochet Today Feb/Mar 07
Yarn: Cascade 220
Started: 4/1/2007
Finished: 4/2/2007

Even though I didn't have much knitting time last night, I did manage to get a bit done on the Retro Rib socks. Paul tried the first one on once complete. It fits really well, and he likes the feel of the silk.

52 Pair Plunge, Pair 1, Day 2

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sock Sunday

Sunday is now for socks. 52 Pair Plunge socks, and only 52 Pair Plunge socks. I did quite well for my first Sock Sunday, if I do say so myself. I have completed the leg of the first Retro Rib, and will have the ribbing done before turning in for the night. Once completely done, I will be able to estimate how much I need to complete each day to have these done in time for the next pair to be cast on. I have no illusions however, that I will always be able to finish a pair before casting on the next. Just going to get lucky this week since the pair was already in progress :o)

Paul really likes these socks. I told him if he went out and got a second job, I would be more than happy to knit all his socks in Cider Moon Haiku lol.

I plan to post progress photos throughout the week, so stay tuned.