Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Twist got back

I chickened out or got too lazy, but I decided not to do the short row shaping for a 3 needle bind off for the shoulders. It's not like I haven't done it before, but I think the frenzy of the holiday season is seeping into my psyche and I got nervous. Then there's the fact that my row gauge weirded out and got smaller after I got through the armhole shaping. I'm hoping the yarn doesn't go funky when I block the pieces out later.

And it figures that after I finish my first Dashing glove that I end up finding my Fetchings that were MIA for a few days. Monkey1 borrowed them when we got our x-mas tree and DH placed it on his dresser and not mine when she was done. I'm not sure if I'll keep it (it is Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran after all) or give it away as my row gauge is larger making the glove quite long.

And while Dashing helps alleviate the desire to knit socks *now* with the use of dpns, it's still not quite scratching the itch, so I ended up swatching my Dream in Color Smooshy Cocoa Kiss (odd name for such a dark charcoal color) for DH's socks. Yeah, less than a week before x-mas and I'm contemplating size 13 socks. Even though DH's feet are very narrow (matches my wide feet so I can have the same cast on number!), it's so not going to happen.

Also, I'm not sure how to handle the high degree of lateral stretch the Smooshy seems to have when knit up. When I went down to size 0's, the fabric became too stiff (~10 spi), so I may stay with size 1.5's (~ 9 spi). Tapmouse's swatch had the same lateral stretch issue, so I know it's not just me, but I haven't really found anyone online discussing this quirk. All I know is that the size 2 needles stated in a couple patterns for this yarn would make the fabric too loose and stretchy for my taste.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ravens coming to roost

Guess what lys got their STR Ravens shipment in?

They didn't get all the colors and they only got the lightweight and Twisted. (My wallet thanks the fact that they didn't get some Laci.) I don't remember all the Twisted colors, but the lightweight came in Grawk, Haida, Korppi, Rauen, Ravenscroft, Rook-y, Thraven, and Valkyrie, if inquiring minds want to know.

I thought how the dye took in the Twisted yarn was interesting as different colors "popped" out more than they did in the lightweight. Take Ravenscroft for instance. There isn't much of the chartreuse green in my lightweight skein, but the Twisted we were looking at had a lot of it and much less of the forest green.

And the reason I was there last night was that they were having a baby shower for Nathania. I am a bad blogger as I was remiss in taking a pic of the baby hat I made for her Boo. I mistook the baby shower date as next week, so I didn't make what I had originally planned to make. Doh!

I did manage to make my first pair of Saartje's booties for one of Monkey1's after-school care teachers. What a fun and quick knit. I think I spent almost as much time seaming it & the buttons as I did knitting it though.

And my Twist cardigan is progressing along. No mods so far, but I still have a little time to figure out if I need to elongate the body by 1" and where.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Still in sweater land

I got my birthday present from my very talented college friend in the mail yesterday. Such Royal Plantinum Alpaca goodness! Who said non-knitters don't get it? But then she's very talented and artistic (I'll have to post the ring she made for one of my previous birthdays one of these days.) and has always had elegant taste. I think these DK skeins will be slated for an Argosy scarf/little shawl.

I also got a call from Purlescence Yarns yesterday that Monkey1's "Safety Pink" Jitterbug yarn had finally come in from Colinette. The Alizarine skeins (even toned down w/the photo software it's seriously bright) are slated for Monkey1's pullover, so I don't feel I'm cheating on my sweater only month w/buying sock yarn.

And while I was at Purlescence I managed to knit a few rows of the start of my Twist cardigan. I had gauge issues with the different needle sizes swatching my Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Either I had a terrible time correctly counting the stitches when I measured for gauge or I swear the swatch shrunk. (Not what I was expecting as I figured it would grow/bloom instead.) I finally decided to go with the slightly tighter gauge I got with size 8 needles with the hope that I'm not taking a big risk knitting the size I chose for the cardigan. When I'm a little further along I'll try to post to the KAL blog.

For some reason, all the issues I had with my Twist gauge swatch 'caused me to re-check my swatch for my Grace sweater. And I found that this swatch definitely shrunk. My only thought is that the swatch was not truly dry when I measured it after washing over a month ago. So now I've knitted another swatch another needle size up and am waiting for it to dry completely. In the meantime Grace is on time out. I expect to frog what I've done so far and start over. On the plus side, better to find out now than when I was much further along.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Heading into sweater only knitting

Since I'm trying to make myself do sweaters only this month (well, essentially anything not socks), I won't have a FO for awhile.

Crystal Palace Merino 5
size 5 Clover bamboo dpns
3" leg including 1" k1p1 cuff
rest of sock in St st
36 st cast on for a gauge of 6 spi

Monkey2 is not one for negative ease. She wouldn't wear the STR Fairgrounds socks I made her earlier this year which I based on the Knitty toe up sock formula cause she didn't like the snug fit. And to make sure it wouldn't be a struggle to put her new socks on, I opted for a regular heel & gusset instead of a short row heel.

I was such the proud mama when Monkey2 called these her "yarn socks" as she knew these were most definitely not regular ole socks. And she said it too cutely for me to teach her to correctly call them handknit socks.

My other FO is my Zig Zag scarf that was my alternate knit here and there at home. I finally got the urge to finish it.

yarn - Yarn Botanika 100% cashmere (dc'd?) in Pink Sand - 200 yd/50 g
pattern - Lacy Zig Zag scarf
needle size - US 8
6" X 44" after steam blocking

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The one official Christmas gift

Technically, it's a thank you gift that I foolishly offered to my makeup board Secret Santa (SS) which she gladly accepted. Otherwise, I am officially wisely refusing to knit any x-mas gifts this year. If I make any, they'll be quick & very small (eg baby-sized).

Pattern: Rainy Day Socks
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in pale pink (my SS said she likes pink)
needles: size 3 KP circs
no mods

I went with relatively quick and fairly easy. I made Tapmouse laugh 'cause at the Monday lunch knitting group, I threw sock 1 to another knitter who wore the same size shoes as my SS to see if they would fit. Being a good knitter, she lined them up next to her foot to verify that the socks were long enough although I did already plan to wash them before sending.

I find it ironic that while I recently bought a bunch of brown yarn, I'm currently knitting in mostly blue.

Top left is Monkey2's sock. She picked the blue Crystal Palace Merino 5 while we were at the Purlescence Pajamarama sale. Yes, I dragged her cute little patootie with me at 6 am that morning and royal blue is very much her color.

Top right is the start of my Waterfall sock. Not too motivated still despite the fact that these are on size 3 dpns. While winding the skein, I found a knot approximately a third of the way through and not at a more convenient spot like smack halfway through or a quarter way through where I have a decent hope that I would finish with that quarter section to spare. Oh well, hopefully I won't need to get to that section 'til right at the toe.

At the bottom is the start of the back section of my Grace sweater. Most of this was knit at last week's Tea and Sympathy at Purlescence. This time w/o the monkeys in tow. I hope to get more of this sweater done this month as I'm going to do an experiment and not knit any socks this month...with the exception of Monkey2's second sock, of course. Which means that while I started the Waterfalls sock, it's going to go nowhere this month.

The other reason for the temporary sock knitting ban is that I joined another sweater KAL. I'll be redirecting the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I bought at some online yarn store sale (sadly, I forget which one) that was slated for the Cardigan for Arwen. I find that I am way too lazy to do the math adjust the short row shaping on the sleeves since the pattern has the same sleeve for all sizes.

Last but not least, here's my birthday yarn from tapmouse. It's a superwash merino/mohair blend from Liisu Yarns with the lovely name of Waves of Memories. This like my other merino/mohair blends will be aquiring a fine ripening in my stash 'til I find a pattern that will befit its loveliness.