Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Pair of Socks of 2008


Pattern: Slipped Stitch Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Elderberry from a lys in Sacramento when they had a brick & mortar presence
needle: size 2 (2.75 mm) KP circs
sock size: Mens 13N (thank goodness for the "narrow" part)
Mod: skipped the garter stitch edge on the heel flap - too fiddly for me

Now on to my current sock WIP:

Pattern: Merlot Vine Sock by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Twist Fiber Art in Arial
needle: 2.50 mm KP circs

Keeping the short row heel due to the ombre striping nature of the hand-dyed yarn. Otherwise, rather prejudiced against the short row heel due to fit issues.

And now I digress into gifted yarny goodness:

Tapmouse gave me a test skein of mmm-Malabrigo Gusanito in Azul Seco for x-mas. She got it from Imagiknit in SF. Clearly, Imagiknit's got a direct line to the folks at Malabrigo since they also had the test skeins for their other new yarn, Dos, which I'm not clear is another sock yarn or not. I'll have to re-read the Malabrigo Junkies thread on Ravelry to refresh my memory.

And look! Another awesome colorway from the mad dyeing genius that is Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Irishgirlieknits gave this skein as a b-day present. Now I have to start an unofficial campaign to ask Tina (politely!) to put Sea Mar up on the website so I can return the favor.

Thank you, my sweet knitting buddies!

Lastly, I was so tied up in holiday stuff that I totally forgot I qualified to be in Woolgirl's Wooly Woolgirl Club. I received the kit right on Christmas Eve and was confounded 'cause I thought I didn't have another order due. LOL! Love all the goodies and the special holiday-themed hand-dyed Leili yarn.

Wishing everyone a Hauoli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter Grey

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. It's been busy at Chez Nartian so I haven't had a chance to blog, let alone knit.

I was all set on publishing this post during our gray, rainy winter weather to match my color theme but by the time I got around to working on this post, the sun comes out. Figures. Anyway, I was mentally and "officially" done with my gift knitting by Christmas Eve Eve.

Pattern: A Boy Hat x 2
yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Coast Grey - 1 skein each hat
needle size: US 8

I actually finished 2 of these, washed & let them dry in time to give them to one of my guys at work for his 2 boys before the end of last week. I was in such a rush though that I didn't do the obligatory Nartian hat shot of the hats over my Monkeys' eyes.

Patons Classic Wool in Black/Noir
size 7 & 9 KP circs
for: my cousin's daughter to replace Le Slouch which went to Monkey1's teacher

However, this hat did not dry in time for Christmas Eve when we saw my cousin. If we don't get a chance to see them again before winter is over, I'll save this for next Christmas.

The following 2 were actually destress from the holiday knitting and not a last minute attempt to have 2 more spare "just-in-case" gifts. But thinking back on it, it probably wasn't a good idea to put size 15 & 17 needles in my hands, even if they were hollow metal alloy.

Seastorm Scarflette
Rowan Big Wool Tuft color #56
size 17 Boyes needles - I think I bought these when I knit up some Ozark Handspun
still in need of a button

This ball of yarn was from my first & only Patternworks end of the year grab bag buy when I was a newbie knitter. This and the ball of Big Wool below were in a bag marked "Cotton." Yeah, it took me 3 years to figure out what the heck to do with these, especially the Tuft.

knit COWL
Rowan Big Wool in Cloak
size 15 KP circs

Now that I'm all done with my gift knitting, I took a quick break and finished some reading. Younger Sis, who curses me for getting her hooked on that vamp series (hah, I wasn't the one with a really long layover at LAX w/nothing to read 'cept what was at the airport magazine store), paid me back by getting me book 3 (something to do with eclipses ;) ) & 4 (I'm not sure how I think about it yet - I spoiled myself on major plot points) as my Christmas gift. I am sometimes too cheap in buying books and was willing to wait 'til May for the paperback version of book 3, but Younger Sis said no way she was waiting that long to finish the series and bought the last 2 in hardcover.

Okay, off to indulge in some major sock knitting. I still have DH's second sock to do (yes, I'm rationalizing that it is not a holiday gift knit), a Merlot Vine Lace sock I started while waiting for DH during one of his obligatory medical tests when you reach a certain age :p, a Digitessa sock (though that Rav group KAL seems to be rather strict on when you do what portion of your socks, not to mention doing them 2-at-a-time - ugh, I don't think so!), my last Rockin Sock Club sock (Muddy Autumn Rainbow - love!), and a Leyburn sock KAL on the Socks that Rawk Rav group. Pics of that stuff in my next post since I'm not sure I can fit them all into this post.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Someone needs to put a fork in me anyway.

I really want to be done, but I'm afraid I'm not. There's something about holiday knitting that suddenly makes product/production knitters question their entire being. I'm sure the Yarn Harlot's written about it so I won't go further other than to say that it certainly does a number to one's psyche.

Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets
Crystal Palace Merino 5 Solid
size 7 dpns
for Monkey2's youngest teacher

The last of gift mitts for this season are done. Though the other ones I made were redirected from my co-workers (they just got the shaft this year) to the Monkeys' teachers.

I forgot to mention I finished this pair of fingerless mitts while on T-day vacation.

pattern: Cafe Au Lait mitts (sorry, Rav link)
yarn: Lana Grossa Numero Uno
needle size: 4 KP circs 'cause I couldn't find my old Clover dpns (note - must try KP Harmony dpns)
for: Monkey2's teachers along w/Evangeline & Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets

I really like how it fits. The lace pattern is stretchy and it gets bonus points for a nicely calculated thumb gusset. Of all the fingerless mitts I've knit this season, this and the Maine Morning Mitts are the only pairs that I can wear comfortably w/o any mods if and when I knit a pair for myself. Evangeline will need a gusset along with the extra cable repeat(s) and the Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets will need a re-porportioning and increase in needle size.

The reason I had chosen this pair of mitts was the lace pattern was the same (if not similar) to the one used for the Cowl of Kindness and the Zig Zag Cowl (both Rav links) which in turn is a stitch pattern used in one of Charlene Schurch's sock books. I just told tapmouse2 that if I had known she would use the stitch pattern for her gift cowl, I could've saved her the math and pointed her to the 2 cowl patterns.

Nottingham hat deux
Knit Picks Swish in Delft Heather
size 9 KP circs
for Squid because Monkey1 snagged Nottingham hat une

And just when I thought I was done with the gift hats for the season, Monkey1 redirected Le Slouch from her cousin to her after school teacher. Apparently her after school teacher has a small noggin. Then again, Le Slouch is stretchy enough I got it to fit my average sized head comfortably enough after a wash & block.

I knew that I was tempting fate when I cast on for Felicity (loads of Rav links today) in good old basic Patons Classic Wool black for myself the other night. This hat may end up with our cousin to replace Le Slouch that she didn't know she lost out on. Then again, I could cast on for another Le Slouch, but in St st this time as seed stitch has the same mind-numbing effect as a 1x1 rib...well, anything.

And all the while I'm knitting all these gifts, DH keeps asking me "Is that my sock you're working on?" Hah. But I have been working on it in between everything and got most of the foot knit up at Purlescence Yarns last night at Late Night Knits to the accompaniment of a lots of soprano & alto knitters singing Christmas carols.

I got smart this time around and knit this pair of DH's socks on Mountain Colors Bearfoot on size 2 needles. Larger gauge on larger needles = less tedious sock spousal sock knitting.

I also finished hint 5 of my Mystery Stole 4 (Serendipity) during T-day vacation. Unfortunately, I haven't touched it since. With hint 5, I was a least able to work 1 row every few days. Not now and not anytime soon either 'cause I just signed up for Yarnissima's Digitessa KAL on Ravelry. I told Irishgirlieknits that I am crazy. And I am. Especially since Mom's flying in tonight (ugh, e3 hours late!) and so I probably won't get any knitting at all done while she's here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gifts received and to be given

I know I have a lot of gift knitting to catch up on. It would've been smarter if I took a pic of them all at once, but my brain's not at a smart place right now, especially when I actually starting thinking about who I should really knit for instead of thinking, "Oh, this would be a cute gift to knit...somebody." Eeek!

Le Slouch (still in need of a wash & block though)
Knit Picks Swish in Indigo Heather - I really like the heathered colors I've bought so far
size 9 & 10 KP circs
For: my cousin's daughter

Darkside Cowl (sorry, Ravelry link) - this one's been washed & blocked, but the pic is pre-blocked
Malabrigo Silky Merino in Arlene's Purples - yum!
size 8 KP circs
For N for whom I made my first knitted chemo cap a couple years ago. Still free of bone marrow cancer & going strong.

Evangeline fingerless mitts (in need of a wash & block)
Knit Picks Swish worsted in Lava Heather
size 7 KP dpns
wrist length
mod: extra cable repeat before thumbhole
for: either a co-worker or one of Monkey2' teachers

Ruffled Roses Scarf (you guessed it, also in need of blocking)
Univeral Yarns Tango
Misti Alpaca worsted & handpainted worsted
Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist
size 7 KP Harmony circs

Sanguine Gryphon Bugga cashmere blend (edited to correct the name)
from: tapmouse

My Christmas llama to go with my birthday skein of undyed alpaca from Old Oaks Ranch (you can read my friend's article on them in the link)
from: Home on Derange - who's started knitting, though the credit goes to Penguin's friend's delightfully cute elephant, and totally not me.

I'm sure I've missed a few gift FO's I haven't posted on yet, so I'll be catching up still. But before I forget, December is also Wollmeise sock club kit time! Woot!

Monday, December 08, 2008

We Can Walk Through A Rainbow

Just in case there are any Rockin' Sock Club stragglers out there, don't scroll past my Anemones.

Pattern: Cloning Anemones by Team Blue Moon
Pattern size: Medium
Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Tide Pooling
Needle size: 2.50 mm KP nickel plated dpns
Mod: reduced number of foot stitches to 64, not 60

Mother of .... To reference a very popular book & movie among the teen set, this pattern can be likened to a sadistic lion. Well, technically, only every fourth row of the pattern can. But I am a stupid lamb as I actually finished this pair.

And just in time to get my last 2008 Rockin' Sock Club kit. Tapmouse and I were going to take pics of our skeins together to see if and show any subtle differences between our "rare gem"-ish type skeins, but we forgot our digital cameras. We'll have to see how well tapmouse's camera phone takes photos. Or we can try again this week. I won't be casting on immediately given that while I'm knitting socks, they're gift socks. And both of us had "fog" on our ball band, so appropo for the place we live.

We can walk through a rainbow
Smiling faces as we go

We can climb on a sunset
Hold the rain
Let it get us wet

We can walk through a rainbow
Make a wish
And let it go

partial lyrics courtesy of Olomana (the sweet harmonies of Jerry Santos and the late Robert Beaumont)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The winner?

She got 8 out of the 10 guesses correct. I'll be e-mailing her on details on the yarn hand-off...cause it's a running joke between us that we won't tell each other exactly we live since we're in the same exact bellybutton town in the Bay Area. Our stash live a little too close together. ;)

Of course, I bought all this stuff before getting details on BMFA's online Barn Sale this weekend. In any case, I'll be buying a sweater's worth of Woobu since Purlescence didn't have the color I wanted. So what did I buy for my birthday?

left to right: Grimm's Willow Wren, Hobgoblin, Potomac, Gingerbread Dude, and Cookie Next Door

left to right: Oma Desala, Jubilation, Alley Oop, Hurdy Gurdy, Treehugger

Considering I only had 3 guessers, I think I made my first (and for now only) blog contest too hard. Live and learn! It was fascinating to see what everyone guessed though. Thank you all and see you online.