Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lace Cast on

Because knitting needs more than just FO post.

Its obvious that the weather is turning crisp and cool. Its knitters weather. Not that the heat of the summer really slows me down. But this is definitely the weather that calls to knitters. Cool enough that you don't sweat to death while knitting. Cool that the air reminds you that winter is coming up. That all those woolies will be useful soon. That mittens and hats and sweaters and things will soon need to be pulled out and worn to help keep you warm. Not that any of those things have anything to do with my latest cast on. But maybe it more explains why I've made several post recently (hehe).


I frogged a pair of socks that just weren't working out and started some lace that hopefully will be beautiful. I am working with "JulieSpins M420S in Impatiens". A GORGEOUS color. I instantly feel in love when I saw it in her shop. And even more so when it showed up at my house.

If you haven't knit with anything from Julie yet you are truly missing out. She also does divine spinning fibers.

I'm very happy about this decision. The yarn is just so pretty. It'll be much more appreciated as a shawl than socks hidden away in my shoes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Twist Complete!

To start with this:

and end with this:

Always makes me happy. To wear something that I made myself... something that I think looks good. It is something that I take pride in. Something that I am proud of. I made this! I'm not ashamed.

I bought this pattern forever ago. Back when I lived in VA. Last fall sometime. I got the yarn over a year ago. Traded a friend for it. It was/is perfect for this sweater.

The yarn is "Lambs Pride Superwash in red wing". I don't normally use superwash. For several reasons. 1.) Its expensive. This yarn retails for $10.20 a ball (Although it appears it is on sale right now at webs for $7.69. I used 7 for this sweater). 2.) I really don't mind handwashing sweaters. In fact I will probably always hand-wash this one. But sometimes a yarn comes along that you just can't say no to. My friend had 2 sweaters worth of this in her stash in the same color. I was looking for red sweater yarn. So it worked out well for both of us. When I first started knitting with the yarn I was very iffy about it. It was very fuzzy to work with. It was scratchy. I just wasn't sure about it. I swatched and washed my swatch (to try to measure accurate gauge). The entire time knitting I just kept hoping that the final product would turn out soft like my swatch and not all scratchy like the knitting. Its not the softest, but it does soften. Another thing to note is that the yarn does not frog well. If you just frog once your ok. I however, pulled out seam a few times and the yarn eventually started just falling apart. I read another review that said that it doesn’t pill but rather that it just gets fuzzier. As I mentioned before I already don't care of the amount of fuzz it has, so not really looking forward to it getting fuzzier. Although not pilling would be nice. It has Great stitch definition. So my cables look awesome!


Pattern: Twist by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted in Red Wing (7balls)
needles: us 5 and 6
Start: August 8th
Finish: Sept 20 (there were several breaks of no knitting in there)

It is knit in pieces then sewn together. The pieces were pretty simple to knit. I followed the pattern almost exactly. I added about a half inch to the sleeves (I like longer sleeves).

The seaming took a long time. I was being pretty perfectionistic about it. I ripped out the sleeves 4 times before I decided they were attached good enough. I kept getting little puffy tops. That I wasn't all that happy with. The right side is still a little more puffy than I'd like. But I was at give up phase in the seaming. I just couldn't take it apart a 5th time. Its not horrible... but its not perfect either.

After its all sewn up. You pick up stitches and knit on a little hood. This is the first time I've picked up stitches and thought I did a good job. Usually I'm hyper critical. But usually its obvious that I've picked up stitches. I can never get it to look flawless. Except this time. I'm very proud of how it turned out.
this is the back of the hood
this is one of the front sides. what do you think? pretty good, right?

Other mods I made. I grafted the top of the hood closed. The pattern called for a three needle bind off. But I didn't care for the ridge that gives. I wanted a more seamless look. Other than that the only other mod I made was that I picked up all the button band stitches at one time. I didn't follow the pattern for this one either. The math says to pick up 4 for every 5 stitches to get the number required. I didn't care for the look of this. So I did a traditional 2 for every 3 stitches. Which I think looked a lot better. O, I used a three row button hole "this one". 7 of them... I still need to find buttons.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Amie's Birthday Socks 2010

In Standard Amie Birthday Tradition I knit her another pair of socks. These are the 5th pair of Birthday socks. :) loving it, and so is Amie's sock drawer.

Now all year I had grand ideas of what the 2010 bday socks would be. Then before I knew it it was August and I was out of time. So I grabbed some yarn and flipped through several books. I pulled out some lovely Knit Picks Gloss that I'd been saving for her. I started knitting away. 3 days later I had 2 broken needles and less than half a sock and realized I was running way short on yarn. No way were these turning out at all. Which was in no way a result of the pattern. I do plan to try these again in the future. The pattern/yarn/needle combo just wasn't working at all. first mistake was I was knitting them way to tight (something around 13st/in). Second mistake was not enough yarn to start with. Just doomed from the start really.


Pattern: "Lombard Street"
needles: 2.0mm (us0)
started: August 20, 2010
ended/not finished: August 23, 2010

So I went to the yarn closet and looked through all the yarn. I couldn't find anything that popped out at me for good bday socks. I just kept standing there amongst all the yarn saying "I dont have any yarn". My 5 year old now thinks I'm crazy. He was like "uh mom there is yarn EVERYWHERE" and kept pointing to all the yarn. I just couldn't find anything that would work. So I remembered seeing a particular yarn at A.C.Moore that I wanted to try (I was there the previous day). So I jumped in the car and drove there. Came home with some nice pretty new yarn that was destined to be Amie socks. I got started right away. 3 days later I had 2 beautiful socks that I just loved. They weren't super complicated socks. They weren't anything special at all... but they were special. I absolutely loved knitting them. Yes they only took 3 days. That is because they are a simple k3p1 rib with a short row heel and basic wedge toe. The yarn totally makes these socks jump tho. Its a thicker than normal sock weight yarn. Its very sock. The thickness makes them knit up super fast. They were wonderfully squishy, and I was sure they'd be perfectly warm for those cold snowy KY winters. I can't wait to get some more of this yarn and knit myself a pair. They were exactly what I needed after the fiasco. They made me ultimately happy to knit them. I was a little sad that they went quite as fast as they did. Here they are on sock blockers that are to big (I'm getting new ones before her next pair).
Pattern: basic k3p1 rib
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock FX in cameo colors
needles: 2.25mm (us 1)
Start: August 23, 2010
Finished: August 26, 2010

a picture from Amie. Evidence that the socks do in fact fit. Alongside all the other goodies I put into the package.

a chocolate lamb
a couple lego sheep
hand sanitizer
foot scrub and lotion

Happy Birthday Amie. I'm glad you like your socks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update from Jessica

Like Amie I always mean to blog. I write out little blog entries in my head. Full of descriptions and links and pictures. Awesome blog entries, really. They just never make it onto the computer.

So like always I'm behind on blogging FO's. So here is my attempt to catch up. Which results in another FO parade from Jessica.

I'm still attempting to do the 10shawls2010 challenge. Although I'm kinda scared that I'm miserably failing the challenge. I've completely 5. And have 2 more started. Which means I need to GET KNITTING! I have yarn and patterns picked out in order to complete the challenge. I just keep picking up other projects, lace or socks or the latest a sweater. But here are a few of the lace pieces that I have managed to finished.

#3 was a gorgeous one to knit. Haruni

Pattern: Haruni
Yarn: Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash Colorway Dornröschen a gift from Cheryl
Needles: 3.75mm (us 5)
Start: April 28, 2010
Finish: May 10, 2010

There isn't a lot to say about this lace piece. It was wonderful yarn and a fantastic pattern. I want more of this yarn so bad. It was fantastic to knit with. I want to make socks with it all day long everyday. I dont know that I would knit lace with it again tho. Not because it isn't good for lace. But just because I like lace with skinnier yarn better. This yarn is a bit thick even for sock yarn.

#4 in the challenge is a Tiny one. Barely qualifies for the challenge.
Pattern: "Annis"
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Mist
needles: 3.5mm and 4.5mm (us 4 and 7)
Start: July 12, 2010
Finish: July 13, 2010


A dream to knit. Super fast. the yarn is super soft. A little on the fuzzy side to work with. but super strong and blocks REALLY well. I might have a mild aversion to alpaca. which makes me wonder if I'll use this yarn again. I dont like all the fuzz and fly aways that happen when knitting with it. The end result however is totally worth it. Super soft!

Then I knit #5; which is Traveling Woman. I was making a shawl for my MIL for an event and wasn't sure the annis was big enough for what she wanted. So I whipped this one up just in case. She loved both and quickly took them. Said she couldn't decide so why not take both if I was ok with it. Which I was. I made a mistake while knitting this one. Its pretty obvious. But I'm trying my best not to fixate on it.

Pattern: "Traveling Woman"
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Blank that was hand dyed for me in a swap
needles: 5.0mm (us 8)
Start: July 13, 2010
Finish: July 15, 2010

Next up in the getting caught up arena is my latest Lorna's Laces Test/Sample knit. I love knitting for LL. Amanda is fantastic to work with. Always a pleasure. And this time was an added treat. I got to knit a Kate Gilbert pattern. It was a work in progress pattern at the time so I had several emails back and forth. And even a phone call!. Yep I was super excited. I ended up chatting with her for a while about life and such after sock talk was over. Fantastic lady. I hope I get to knit for her again. The Sock was beautiful. A cable tree that comes up out of the heel and wraps around the foot. LOVE!

Pattern: "Twin Oaks By Kate Gilbert"
yarn: lorna's laces Shepard Sock in Patina
needles: 2.0mm (us 0)
start: May 8, 2010
Finished: May 13, 2010

I also knit a pair of socks for Amie's mom. She commissioned me to knit them. Mom saw some of the socks I've been knitting for Amie. Last years bday pair specifically. Then hinted that she might like a pair of socks. So since socks aren't Amie's favorite. She turned to me. I was paid with this. A gorgeous hank of lace weight. Just to knit a pair of socks, can you believe it!? Amie bought the yarn and had it sent to me and I knit away on another pair of Kai-Mei socks.

Pattern: Kai-Mei by Cookie A. from Sock Innovation
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Sapphire Heather
needles: 2.0mm (us 0)
started: May 20, 2010
Finished: July 5, 2010 (seriously lost mojo while knitting these for some reason)