Sunday, July 29, 2007

A very productive Saturday

Most of yesterday was spent knitting on the Mystery Stole. I'm hoping to have the last of clue 4 complete today, so photo tomorrow.

Along with that, I knit up most of a sleeve for Tailored Scallops. The second sleeve should be done tonight so I'm still hopeful of completing the jacket this week.

Before turning in, I got the second of the Cable Rib socks for Paul started. Not sure if I'll get anything knit on it today, but at least it's started.

Jenn wants me to knit her up a few pair of baby socks for a shower she's going to later this month, so that should help me get back on track to complete my 52 pair in a year.

Cheating or not, I'm still plugging away on the Clementine Shawlette for my MIL. Since it's knit in 2 identical pieces that are grafted together in the center, I cast on a second piece and have chart A done for both now. Hoping to knit chart B today. I know my MIL will love this. I can't stop petting the yarn as I'm knitting, it's so soft and yummy. I'll probably wind up buying some more of this to make myself a sweater for this winter.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Is it cheating?

So, Paul got home late last night and promptly fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. He must have been dreaming about work (again) because he was doing an awful lot of tossing, turning, groaning, and teeth grinding. Basically he was so wound up in his sleep he was keeping me awake. About 1am I gave up trying to get to sleep, pulled out some dpns and that Regia Bamboo yarn and knit up the toe for a sock for him. This morning he gave me the thumbs up on the colors, so I don't have to frog it and knit it small enough for me.

When I put the sock back into one of the knitting bags beside the bed, I started to feel a bit guilty about how many projects I have stuffed in there right now. I made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to cast on anything else new (even though I'm dying to try out some of those other new sock yarns) until I had finished at least one of the sweaters and one pair of socks that were already started.

Then, tonight when I got home from work, another yarn order was in. Ugggggggg!!!!! Everyone knows how hard a time I have NOT casting on new yarn. And this is some really yummy soft stuff to make something really nice. I didn't even place the order, Paul did. His mother mentioned that she wanted a stole, so he did some internet yarn shopping with me last weekend and decided on Knit Picks Ambrosia (Alpaca/Cashmere) in Mulled Wine. I showed him the Clementine Shawlette in the Spring 07 Interweave Knits and he decided that's the stole he wanted me to make her.

Is it cheating that I cast on for it tonight since it's a gift for someone and not something for myself?? There I go trying to rationalize something again. Oh well, I'm hopeless! At least I only knit on it enough to decide I love the yarn.

Then it was back to finishing off one of the many projects already started. I finished the left front for Tailored Scallops. Each of these pieces is knitting up so fast, I should be able to finish the sweater this week. And, if I'd quit with the casting on new socks, I might actually finish one of the already started pairs this week too.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sock Yarn!!

I was tired of eating lunch by myself (Paul's out of town again this week), so yesterday I decided to do some sock yarn shopping.

First on the list was to find me some scarlet and gray yarn to make the Buckeye socks I plan for my Stepdad's birthday this year. First I'll have to work up the pattern for them, so I better get busy.

Unfortunately for my bank account (snicker), the scarlet and grey sock yarn was parked right next to the Bearfoot and Jitterbug. I snapped up a couple skeins for myself ... just couldn't resist.

Let's get a bit of a closer look at those fabulous colors.

I can't wait to knit this up. I love the other pair of socks I made for myself with Bearfoot, and these colors are yummy.

I've never knit with Jitterbug, but it feels great and I can't wait to get it on the needles. That is if I ever free up a pair of dpns! I love the teals and purples in this skein.

Since I try really hard not to just horde yarn for myself, I had to get something for Paul. He normally likes his socks a bit more subtle than this, but he'll have to deal with it :o)

I thought I was all done and happily carried my goodies in the house after work. But, there on the kitchen table was a box from The Loopy Ewe. I placed my first order with them over the weekend and really wasn't expecting it to come in so soon. Yay!! I love when orders ship fast. They had sock blockers that I wanted for Paul's socks, so along with those, I ordered a skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn for me, and one of those cute little sock blocker keychains.

A closer look at those beautiful blues and greens. I'll definitely be doing a lot more ordering from them. I love their inventory.

Oh yeah, I did do some knitting last night too. Finished off that first sock for Paul. Here it is modeling on his very own sock blocker. Notice how the toe isn't all floopy, and the leg doesn't hide the whole blocker like happens when I try to model his socks on my blocker?

I also did some work on the Crosshatch Lace socks. Finished up the leg last night, and started on the heel flap today at lunch.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A bit of progress on just about everything

Have you ever gotten to the point where you just have a couple rows to go before casting off, then see the big honking mistake you made right from the very beginning? Well, that's what happened to me Sunday night. I was almost done with the right front for Tailored Scallops when I realized I hadn't done the edge stitches for the center front in garter stitch. Ugggggg the whole dang thing had to be frogged.

My original plan was to finish up those last couple of rows, then spend the rest of the evening sock knitting. Since I sincerely hate leaving something frogged, I wound up frantically knitting away on Tailored Scallops instead. I managed to finish the piece off and even got to do a few rounds on Paul's latest pair of socks before going to bed.

Just a couple more repeats of the cable pattern then some ribbing and the first of Paul's Cable Rib socks will be done. Only 11 more socks to go to catch up where I should be for the 52 Pair Plungs LOL.

Last night I decided to cast on yet another pair of socks. I guess in my feable brain there is the thought that if I see them all started, I will knit frantically to finish them all. Actually that just might work if I see a pair that I really want to cast on. Since all my dpns are currently being used, I'd have to finish something in order to start another pair. Below is the beginning of my Solstice Slip socks from BMFA's Rockin' Sock Club. I love the colors in this yarn, and the pattern is really pretty when it isn't all bunched up on teeny tiny dpns.

Also cast on last week are the Lacy Knee Highs from Interweave Knits Winter 2004 issue. I found the required yarn on sale a few months back and finally got around to starting the socks. These will be great come fall.

Paul's other pair of socks are making some progress too. I might decide to finish this one off after the first Cable Rib sock is done instead of casting on the second right away.

And last on the needles, sockwise, is the Crosshatch Lace socks from More Sensational Socks. I really like this pattern, and just might decide to make another pair using it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And the list gets a bit shorter

....or it would if I'd quit casting on new projects! LOL

I finished up clue 3 for the Mystery Stole. This Friday's clue is rumored to be bigger than the others since one won't be sent next week due to the release of the new Harry Potter book. Not sure if I'll split it up to last the 2 weeks or knit a lot more on it this weekend just so I can see what happens with it. Knowing me, I won't be able to ration it out and will have it done early next week. I'm really liking what it is looking like and believe I'll use it quite a bit in the fall.

I took my cue from Sock Princess and went ahead and used the pepper buttons on the Rock & Weave socks. Sewed them on tonight and officially finished my 12th pair of socks for the 52 Pair Plunge. I'm still behind several pair (which would explain why I've cast on so many in the past couple of days), but hope to be caught up by the end of August. It would probably help if I quit casting on monstrous mutant manfeet socks for Paul and lace concoctions for myself, but what fun would that be?

A closeup of the buttons. Too bad I couldn't find some facing the other direction to appease my sense of symetry (which can sometimes border on being anal).

Also tonight in knitting news, I finished the back of Tailored Scallops. The yarn is starting to grow on me. I've cast on for one of the fronts, but a few rows of garter stitch edging isn't good photo material. Later this week maybe.

P.S. This photo was taken especially for you Mitten Maven. Wouldn't want you to start getting "Leaf" withdrawals!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A day of socks

I spent most of today knitting on socks. I need to do some serious catch up for the 62 Pair Plunge Knitalong. I'm about 4 pair behind right now!

Just about finished with the second Rock & Weave sock. Will probably have the toe done before going to bed tonight. Still not sure about those pepper buttons. I'll scrounge around in my button jar before making a final decision.

I cast on a couple new pair of socks this weekend. Both are being knit using patterns from More Sensational Knitted Socks. The below pair is Crosshatch Lace. A fun pattern to knit and easily memorized. The yarn is Online Supersocke 100, a wool/cotton blend. Really soft and a nice yarn to work with.

The pair below is being knit in the Stansfield 27 pattern. Another fun and easy to memorize pattern stitch. These will be monstrous mutant man feet socks for Paul.

I also worked on Clue 3 for the Mystery stole. I should finish that up tomorrow and post photos then.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

11 down - 1 to go

I finished up the seaming and the I-cord belt last night for the Bonsai Tunic. Looking at it with all that lovely drape the yarn has I thought it looked good enough to wear without blocking so I took my chances with the weight and wore her to work today. I was impressed with how cool it felt for such a heavy top. Lots of compliments on it.

Can't say so much for my hair. Hmmmmm just had it cut and it hasn't yet finished telling just what the heck it wants to do. The sides and back want to do this little flippy thing so I just added some gel to damp locks and went with it. Top went flat by lunchtime. I'm thinking it wants to just do some wild tousled stuff and I should go back to the salon and have them cut the top shorter so it can join in on the ruffled fun. Maybe this weekend.

I pulled out Tailored Scallops again tonight and am just about to the armhole shaping on the back. 4 more repeats (or about 15 minutes knitting) and I should be there.

Tonight I finished up one of the Rock & Weave socks. I'm pretty behind on the 52 Pair Plunge knitalong and I think since the Sweater A Month knitalong blog will be taking a break in August I'll use that time to catch up on socks.

Found some little pepper buttons the other day, but I'm not quite convinced they should be put on these socks. The red isn't quite the same and the green is way off. Opinions??

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Making a dent in the UFO's

I was really wanting to have the Bonsai Tunic finished to wear to work today, but I didn't work on it enough the last several days of my vacation. The final touches (I-cord belt, and armhole edging) should be done tonight so either Friday or Monday I should get to debut her. This is really quite a heavy sweater for being sleeveless, but I think with just a cami under it, I can get away with it on warm days. I hope so anyway since I fully plan to give it a go.

A closer shot without the flash to show the pattern on the bodice. I'm generally not a big fan of reverse stockinette, but I really like it with this yarn on this sweater.

I did some social knitting the last few days of my vacation so worked on something I knew I wouldn't mess up while I was busy gabbing. Out came the yarn and pattern for Tailored Scallops. I can't believe how quickly this sweater is going to knit up. Bulky yarn + 10 1/2 needles = almost instant gratification. Not quite sure about this yarn though. It looked really pretty in the skein, but it's a bit ugly knit up. Hopefully this will be one of those "so ugly it's cool" projects. One can have dreams. I'm not too awfully worried about it since the plan was for this to be my hang on the back of the office chair sweater that I can throw on at work when the air conditioning thinks it should be 30 degrees in the building.

Also during the social events I did some work on the Merging Colors kit. I've started adding in the 3rd color of yarn, but it's very hard to tell in the photos so far. Even up close and in person the change is so slight as to be brushed off as a play of light across the yarn.

I was really planning to take this next photo outside in the sunlight, but the overcast past couple of days wouldn't allow it. Today was nice and sunny, but alas, by the time I got home from work and got ready, the light was no better outside than in. I finished with clue 2 on Sunday. I really love the patterning on this stole.

Woohoo, with enough light above, no flash on the camera, and zooming in really really close, you can actually see the beads!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

I love vacations

I sure can crank me out some knittin' during a vacation! Makes me long for the days when I stayed at home. Of course, then I wouldn't have the $$ to spend on all the wonderful yarn I so love to play with. Kind of a nasty catch 22 isn't it?

I did finish up the seaming and neck edging on Intoxicating yesterday. I immediately put it on and made Paul take a picture. A ghastly picture at that. I'm posting it, but plan to get a better one once the sweater is blocked.

Finishing the sweater wasn't quite enough FO love for me, what with all the projects I have on the needles right now. What to do in a situation like that? Cast on a couple of quick knit washcloths, that's what!

I'm just about 1/3 through clue 2 on Mystery Stole 3. I love the beadwork in this pattern. Wish they showed up better in the photos, but what can you do? Maybe next one I'll do outside and the sunlight will glint off the little buggers.

Not quite enough done on Scheherazade for it to play nice for a photo, but you get the gist below. This one I'll be working on when I'm out of clues for the above one. I can't believe I have 2 lace projects of this magnitude on the needles at one time. I must be going completely crazy.

So, when you've finished a couple of projects and have a gazillion more looking up at you longingly from the knitting basket begging for some attention, what do you do? If you're an obsessive compulsive knitter, as I am, you buy more yarn and cast on yet another project. Wouldn't want any of the already in progress items starting to feel like they might be a favorite would you? That could cause a riot of unknown proportions and we wouldn't want that now would we? Below you see the very beginnings of a project I've been drooling over in one of the multitude of crafty catalogs I receive. I had no idea that KM was carrying the kits until this morning, when I went to KnitWits. My plan was to buy just a bit of yarn. Just enough to ease the craving so I don't go hog wild next payday (you know what I'm talking about, don't try to deny it). There I was at the checkout with my 2 magazines, 4 balls of yarn, and some stitch markers. I was being good and was so proud of myself. Then I turned around and my jaw dropped. There, right behind me, were a bunch of Strickwear kits. I couldn't resist. I had to have one of these having laid eyes on them in person. The yarn is so soft and yummy, and the colors are truly amazing. This sweater might take me some time to finish. There on the needles, that stuff that looks like a gigantic purple curly fry. That constitutes an hour's worth of work. 242 stitches on size 2 needles my friends. What is it with me and the tiny gauges lately?

Even though I was dying to continue working on the Merging Colors kit, at least long enough to get to the first color change, I was good and did some work on the Bonsai Tunic. 3 more repeats til the waist ribbing (the countdown has begun). Maybe if I finish this before my vacation ends, I won't feel so guilty about starting so many new projects lately.

Who the heck am I kidding? I don't feel guilty and you all know it!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Nekkid outdoor kinda people

Back from the long weekend in the woods, and was that ever a great trip! Below is a photo of the cabin we stayed in. It was so peaceful. We didn't get a photo of the back deck, but it was complete with a hot tub, which we used daily. Sometimes more than once!

Paul left his mark on the Garden Board next to the front door. When we checked in on Friday, the owner, Doug, asked what we were planning to do while there. When Paul told him we were thinking about canoeing on Saturday, Doug told us about a moonlight canoe trip he had gotten an email about. We made our reservations for that when we went into town for groceries.

The canoe trip was a lot of fun. Looks pretty light in the photo taken at the start of the trip, but boy did it get dark by the time we finished.

Sunday was the day I was most looking forward to. We had Blue Valley Massage come out for 3 1/2 hours of spa treatments. The two gals who came out were a hoot. They thought it was 4 people since I had scheduled just about everything on the menu (except the mud wrap, Paul wasn't interested in that one). Since it was so nice outside, we decided to do everything on the back deck. As Paul put it, we were definitely some nekkid outdoor kinda people this weekend lol. We started out with a sea salt scrub massage, then it was off to the shower for a quick rinse. Next came a one hour massage, followed by a mint foot revitalizer. Last was the hot stone therapy. I have never been so relaxed in my life. Lisa grabbed our camera and took a picture of us before ducking back into the cabin so we could get dressed. How about that hair all fluffed up from oil and a scalp massage?

Before we had finished with the spa treatments, our chef arrived and the poor guy was sitting in his car in the drive waiting to be let in. Yep, you read right, our chef. I decided when I was checking out the Blue Valley Massage website that I wasn't going to ruin 3 hours of relaxation by having to cook, so I took advantage of the discount offered if you scheduled the Travelling Chef to come out to your cabin the same time you scheduled your massage. Jason was great! The appetizer and salad were fabulous, the steaks were cooked exactly the way I like, the sides were yummy, and the dessert was scrumptious. He even brewed coffee for us before heading off to his next appointment. All in all, a great day!!

Of course, all this time out in the woods didn't stop me from knitting. I finished the sleeves for Intoxicating while there, and I'm just about done with the seaming. Just have to do the left side, weave in the ends, and knit the neckline edging. I should have this finished up tomorrow, and can hopefully get a modeled photo.

I also made quite a bit of progress on the Bonsai Tunic. I'm hoping to have this done before going back to work next Wednesday.

The first thing I knit on after getting settled in was the Mystery Stole. I finished up clue 1 on Sunday. I'm really liking the pattern so far, and can't wait for Friday to get here so I can start on clue 2.

My beads are a bit difficult to see in the photos, but they show up nicely on the stole. I liked knitting on this so much I purchased the pattern for last year's mystery stole and cast on for that this afternoon. There isn't enough completed yet for a photo, but maybe tomorrow.