James


A few things I’ve been working on…

These were so close to being done before I went to Japan. All I had left was a toe. I wasn’t about to bring a project that was almost done, with airplane-incompatible needles, so I finished them right after we got back. The yarn is Pigeonroof Studios sock yarn, that I bought at Piedmont Yarn. I would kill to get some roving from Pigeonroof, but the yarn is almost as good. The base yarn is strong but soft, and has a nice sheen, and the short, random bursts of color make for interesting knitting, and almost no pooling! (Oh, and the pattern is Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.)

Last summer I started making granny squares for the Color Bar Blanket from the Stitch n Bitch Happy Hooker. I completed the squares in a few colors, and then they sat in a bag for several months. Lately I’ve been in the mood to make some more, especially during the heat wave we had last week. I’m almost through half the colors…just need to finish up this blue. There was a sale on Plymouth Encore at WEBS, so I got most of the other colors I need. If I don’t completely lose momentum, I hope to finish the squares and sew it all together over the summer so I will have an awesome afghan for fall!

This pattern came out last month over at Purl Bee. I instantly wanted to knit it…even though I’ve been queuing patterns and accumulating yarn for several bigger sweater projects, I can’t bring myself to start any of them right now. This shrug, however, is small enough, and wearable in the summer, so I finally decided to go find yarn and cast on. Our bamboo selection is a bit lacking at Piedmont Yarn, so I went to Article Pract on Sunday. There were several bamboo and cotton blend selections, but I couldn’t find a yarn I liked in a color that was inspiring (and wearable), or if I did, there wasn’t enough in the store (like a certain cotton tencel blend that I fell in love with). I went into the sale room and ended up coming out with several skeins of Berroco Glace, a rayon ribbon yarn, in an amazing deep indigo color. I’ll admit, it’s the color that did me in, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s knitting up. I just finished the first sleeve, and now I’m on the back. I’m trying to knit it fast and keep momentum because if I finish it, it will definitely get worn this summer.

James requested a hat last fall, I may have mentioned it at some point on here. It is to have mushrooms, snails, and squirrels. There will be earflaps, and we found some awesome buttons that will be integrated into the earflaps somehow (either decoratively or functionally, it is not yet clear). I did a little swatching a few months ago and started to cast on, but the size 1 needles and 190+ stitches were sort of uninspiring. I also realized more planning was necessary…I needed to draft an entire chart of all of the Fair Isle components, rather than just trying to wing it. I have been putting it off for several months now, but the other night I got motivated and drew up this chart. It looks like there will be 6 pattern repeats (3 repeats of the chart), for a total of 180 stitches. My chart is a conglomeration of several Adrian Bizilia charts (the mushrooms, snails, and swirls), and the squirrels come from a mitten pattern (pdf). The snails are actually significantly altered to fit into a smaller number of stitches. I have yet to start the knitting, but now that I have this chart I should be able to get at least to the crown decreases pretty easily. I know I will be using a provisional cast on so I can deal with the earflaps later on. If James is lucky, he might have this hat to wear next autumn…or winter. Those needles are still mighty small…

I got a spinning wheel! The Lady was kind enough to GIVE me one of hers – for free! It’s an Ashford Traditional, and I’m sure it’s seen many owners…but it still works beautifully and is simple enough for me to figure out. I got a quick one-hour lesson, which was enormously helpful, and since then I’ve just been learning by doing. I spun some green Corriedale for practice, and then I dove into my build-up of Spunky Eclectic club fiber. “Pie for Everyone!” seemed like a good place to start.


(click for bigger)

Can I just say that spinning on a wheel is awesome? I knew I wanted a bouncy, springy, bulky weight yarn, and that’s pretty much what I got. I spun and plied all 4oz in just a few nights, and I had so much fun while doing it. It’s not perfect, I could have given it even more twist in places, and my drafting needs work (though it’s loads better than it was with the spindle), but I love it.

Spunky Eclectic Club Roving, November 2007
100% Falkland wool
4 oz, 116 yards
something like bulky weight

I’m envisioning turning this into a squishy Urchin or Zeebee hat. I’m a little hesitant to knit it up because I love looking at it so much, but I haven’t knit with my handspun yet and I think it will be awesome.

Right before Stiches West, I sort of went through and reorganized my yarn. I had seen the Inga Hat a few weeks prior, and found some random worsted weight wool to use for it. It’s amazing how much nicer stranded knitting looks with real wool, instead of superwash.


Leftover Cascade 220 (lavender) and Galway Highland Heather (blue)
size 3 needles
I love the braid around the bottom. My excuse for casting this on (amongst my many other projects) was so I could try out the braid as a possible embellishment for the completely ridiculous hat James wants me to make for him. I think I’m going to give this to my sister, because I never finished her second mitten for xmas and I’ll be seeing her next week. These are definitely her colors.

Just for fun, my fabulous model:

Working six days per week really makes time fly. Just when I was starting to get used to it, the wine-related job offered me full time. So, I’ve quit the coffee shop and this last week I enjoyed TWO days off instead of just one. It hasn’t really made life any less busy though. And I have another opportunity in the works that may shorten my weekends again, but I think it might be worth it.

Last Monday was James’ bday. I bought him a Nintendo DS Lite, and secretly made him this awesome case to go with it:

Click on the picture for more photos!

It was a big hit. I love that it matches the DS Lite too. We also had two awesome dinners (different friend groups…) and I took Monday off so we could relax together. I hope he had a good birthday!

The needlepointing took up a bit of my time, but I’ve been doing a fair amount of knitting as well. I finished the 9 to 5 socks, and have a few inches of a cuff on a Twisted Tweed Sock. I’m using this German sock yarn I picked up for 50 p at a flea market in Dresden.

I realized the Mrs. Darcy cardigan has been sitting around for a month since I finished the knitting, and I just needed to sew on the sleeves. I’ve been putting it off because I’ve never done set in sleeves…but I tackled it tonight and I think I did ok. Here is a really crappy picture I took tonight:

(more…)

Progress on Clementine is going well.  I finished the first half over the weekend and immediately started the second panel so i wouldn’t be tempted to cast on something else (like a lacy yoga bag?) as a “reward”.  I’ve finished the increase section and now have 25 more straight repeats to go, which I can easily finish with a few nights of Heroes and BBC’s Robin Hood.  This project has been almost exclusively tv knitting; the lace pattern is simple and easy to memorize and keep track of, especially once you get into the straight section.  And that triple stranded alpaca feels so nice.

Unfortunately, this means that this lovely alpaca lace shawl will be finished just as summer is heating up, especially in Montana where my Grandma lives.  Do I keep it safely at my house for a few months for a more appropriate time, weather-wise, to send it, or do I get it out the door ASAP to let her admire it, even if she can’t yet wear it?  I’m thinking I’ll hold on to it, because I’d rather she be able to use it when she gets it.

Yesterday James and I went to Angel Island with his old roommate, whom we keep in touch with (somewhat) but always seem to miss hanging out with.  We hiked to the top of Mt. Livermore and back, which took under 4 hours, including our picnic at the top, and lots of stopping on the way up.  There were some completely amazing views of San Francisco and the bridges.  I took lots of pictures, which will be up on my flickr in the next few days.  All in all, it was a really good hike, not too rough, except when James decided to take a shortcut coming down.  Dry, loose dirt and leaves on a steep hill lead to me sliding down the mountain and getting very angry.  I didn’t get a headache though (unlike our Muir Woods trip), and I also didn’t get sunburned, thanks to the $12 sunscreen we purchased after we got there.  So it was a good day.

I’ve been trying to compile a list of things I can make to sell on Etsy.  I need to get back into bookbinding and try and improve my sewing skills.  I’m a little intimidated at the thought of creating original things that people will actually wan to buy, but I think once I get back into being really creative I will gain more confidence.  I have several skills and I’d like to be able to use them.  A little extra income to help cover what I spend on craft supplies anyway, as well as a way to move all this stuff I like to make out of my house, will definitely be welcome.

i finished J’s cigar gloves!

yarn: plymouth encore
needles: US4 bamboo dpns
time: these only took about two nights each, but the time between when each was completed was several weeks.
mods/comments: my gauge was a little off, so i made the smallest size, but added a bit of length after the thumb gusset.

he likes them 🙂

cigar glovei finished the first of the cigar gloves. james is really excited about it. i made him take it on and off about a million times last night while i was doing the fingers, to get them all the right length. the effort is definitely worth it, and i think that this pattern is designed very well. i think i like making gloves better starting with the cuff, rather than the fingers (like knucks). those fingers are a lot easier to work.

i stuck to my word and i’ve worked on victorian ruby a bit. it’s really not so bad,victorian ruby it’s just that i have to be concentrating on not messing up, with both the chart and the knitting itself. this mohair i’m using isn’t the easiest to maneuver, and the needles could probably be pointier. those k2tog’s and s2kp2’s just don’t happen very easily. but i got about a third of the lace panel done which makes me feel pretty accomplished.

victorian ruby

i am really anxious to be done with this scarf because a) it is going to be so pretty, and b) i really want to start my grandma’s shawl. today i was flipping through victorian lace today again, and i think i’ve finally REALLY decided on a pattern. whenever i go through it i always THINK i’ve picked one, but it’s still open for debate. now i think i’ve got it. it’s going to be the victoria shawl. it’s one of the patterns i haven’t paid much attention to, but for some reason, now it’s speaking to me.

i will not let myself cast on for this until i have completed ruby, but in order to give my excitement an outlet, i took the book over to fedex/kinkos and copied a bunch of the charts on project i will be doing at some point. i have been meaning to do this for awhile and i finally got around to it. i love the format and the pictures in the book, but it sure is a pain to have that huge thing spread out while you’re actually trying to knit something, instead of just ogling the pictures.

looking back, it seems that yesterday was my knit blog’s one year anniversary. happy anniversary!

my computer is on the fritz. the other day it refused to charge when plugged in. it’s not the charger, it has something to do with where you plug the charger into the computer. tomorrow is my day off so i’ll probably take it down to the apple store. it’s completely annoying. fortunately, i can use james’ computer. it just doesn’t have any of my bookmarks or patterns.

also this computer trouble means that i won’t have as many pictures. i guess i can upload them to james’ computer and still put them on flickr, and then delete them from the hard drive (because i know he doesn’t want to look at a bunch of knitting pictures all day). i just won’t be as motivated to do so. for some reason i’m usually reluctant to get out the camera anyway.

in the midst of my other projects, i started making james some cigar gloves. they are going really fast…i would have finished the first one last night (only the second night of working on them) except that i was tired and i fell asleep in the green chair. also i need him to be home so i can make the fingers all the right length.

maybe today/tonight i will try and get through a few more rows of victorian ruby. i am so close to being finished and i just want it to be done! most especially so i can start on my grandma’s shawl. right now i am leaning toward the alpine lace scarf.

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