Thursday, January 26, 2006

i'm waiting for a sunny day...

I love my apartment. The new place has a small sunroom with three big windows. In the afternoon, the whole place gets flooded with really nice sunlight, making everything feel warm. Unfortunately, I'm not always at home in the middle of the afternoon, so I haven't been able to get any good pictures of my latest knits. I know I could use the flash, but my colors always come out wrong.

I find it kind of unbelievable, but I finished the Lace-Leaf Pullover in exactly 7 days! Yesterday, during lunch, I grafted the top and bottom pieces together. It looks awesome. I bound off the two pieces of the body with waste yarn, then grafted the pieces together. This worked out really well. The problem that I usually have with Kitchener stitch is that I end up with a ton of twisted stitches. For some reason, I can't wrap my mind around which way you are supposed to go through which stitches. With both sets of stitches bound off, all of the stitches were in the correct orientation, and the action was just like grafting bound off edges. Once I was done grafting top to bottom, all I had to do was "unzip" the waste yarn!

Oh, and in case you're actually wondering what happened to Lucky...She took the week off. After knitting 6+ ft of neckband, I decided to start sewing it to the body. Without the band, the sweater just falls off your shoulders and looks crap. I worked and worked, and worked some more only to come up short! That's right! And, not just a little short. The band made it up one side, around the back, and stopped about 3 inches down the front. Thankfully I didn't bind off before I started this endeavor. After a week of rest and relaxation, I'm ready to continue complete the nightmare.

Monday, January 23, 2006

faster than a speeding bullet...

Last Thursday, I started my Lace-Leaf Pullover. Since then, it's been whizzing by. By Thursday night, I had finished the yoke and upper body. Right now, I'm 20 rows away from finishing the second sleeve! Perhaps this sweater will be ready for a weekend debut.

I usually don't knit bulk or chunky knits. Actually, this is the my first project on needles larger than 10.5. But, since I really like the look of this sweater, I thought I'd go for it. Knitting with the large needles has taken a little getting used to. They feel pretty big and clunky, and my joints feel a little sore after knitting for a while...I guess I should be glad this will be a quick project.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

first FO of 2006...

Yup. I actually finished something over the long weekend. Unfortunately, it wasn't Lucky. I made a lot of progress, though. I blocked and seamed the pieces together. Now, all I have to do is finish the neckbang. At last count, the neckband is just under 5 feet long, which means that I will have about 20 more inches to knit.

My 1st finished object of the year is Branching Out!

Here's a close-up of the lace before blocking...

Here's the lace pattern while blocking...

The scarf is a little shorter than I would like, but I was limited to two skeins of yarn. The finished product is about 55 inches long. In the end, I decided to make two identical pieces and graft them together. I'm really glad I did. It gave me a little practice for my next project, which requires you to graft the top half of the body to the bottom half...Can you guess what's up next?

Thursday, January 12, 2006


That's the only way this neckband is going to be done. I've made it my bus knitting. Even though it's getting longer -- 30 inches at last count -- it still fit neatly in my bag. I have a three day weekend coming up, and with any luck, I can finish Lucky. If I'm motivated enough, I think I will block the other pieces tonight after work.

Since the neckband is my bus-knitting, Branching Out has become home-knitting. So far, I have gone through about 3/4 of the first skein and I have 12 pattern repeats. As I'm knitting, all I can think about is the fact that the entire scarf is knit in one direction. That means that when I go to wear the scarf, the two ends will look different. (I know this isn't a problem for most people, but it seems to bug me) I've seen a lot of lacey scarf patterns that have you knit two halves, then graft them together. What do you think? Would that be too much effort for a simple scarf? Hmm...I'll decide when I get to the end of the first skein of yarn.

In other news, I am becoming obsessed with the Jaywalker socks that everyone on Earth seems to be knitting. I can't believe all the great looking socks! And, most bloggers have commented that they aren't too difficult, even for a beginner. Now, my only problem is that my small needles (size 1 &2) are in sets of 4 not 5...Good thing my yarn diet doesn't include needles and notions, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

a sure cure for boredom...

Over the weekend, I finished both sleeves for Lucky. I felt really good, thinking that I was really close to finishing this sweater. Well, I'm not! I still need to knit the band that goes all the way around the neckline, plus the ties. The pattern calls for about 6 feet of 1x1 rib...needless to say this will be no small feat. I casted on for this Sunday evening. As of last night, I had just over a foot done. How boring!

What to do? Start something new! Yup, I cast on for Branching Out. I am using 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush that I received last year in a Secret Pal Exchange. This stuff is super soft, and color is perfect. So far, I've made it through four pattern repeats.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

first seven of 2006...

Gee, that title would be a heck of a lot catchier if it were the "1st six of '06". What do you think? Would it be cheating to change the rules? Really, I've barely even started my yarn diet...Okay, six it is!

And, here's my list:

  • Branching Out
  • Lace Leaf Pullover
  • My 1st Socks (technically a UFO, but I might start over)
  • Crinkle
  • Butterfly
  • My 1st Shawl -- either Flower Basket or Ene's Scarf

    I'm not sure what order I will knit these in...I guess I'll decide as I go along. I'm pretty sure that I have yarn for each of these projects already in my stash. If I start a project and find that my yarn isn't working out, I will start looking for another project to replace it. (Depending on what happens this week*, I might go ahead and swap one of these for another project that I have in mind.) No matter what, I will not buy more yarn until I have completed six projects.

    *I'm waiting for yarn that I ordered early in December, before I even started to think about another yarn diet. Hopefully, it's just a Holiday Season-related mail delay.

  • Tuesday, January 03, 2006

    one last purchase...

    I've made up my mind. I will be putting myself on another yarn diet this year. But, before I start, I couldn't resist making on more enhancement to the stash. Sometimes, there are deals that are just too good to resist. This time, it's Lion brand Kool Wool for $1.25/skein. I got mine, now go get yours!

    I will be changing the rules this year. Instead of setting the day that my diet will end, I am going to pick projects to complete before I can buy more yarn. I am going to aim to complete seven projects, using only stashed yarn, before I end my diet. Why seven? Well, over the holiday, I started going through the books and magazines that I have, and came across at least 10 that I really would like to make (and wear). These range from small items like scarves and hats, to a number of sweaters. Sometime this week, I will be adding the seven projects to the sidebar.

    I'm not really sure how long it will take to make my way through seven projects. However, if I stick to this version of a yarn diet, I think I'll actually see the size of my stash decrease. Isn't that the point?

    happy new year!

    I'm trying to start off the new year on a good foot. I haven't decided whether I want to list resolutions, since I didn't go all that well with last year's. I'll think about it this week and decide what to do.

    Unlike Christmas weekend, this past weekend was very relaxing. I actually had a lot of time to sit and knit. I went back to work on Lucky and have made some progress. I'm done with both front pieces, and am nearly finished with the first sleeve. I keep trying to imagine this piece when it is complete...because the pieces alone don't really look like much.

    I can't wait to finish this piece...First, I could really use a new top right about now. Secondly, Rowan has put up it's Spring preview, and I will need a clear palate to start new knits.