Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

Where has all my mojo gone? Long time passing. October 8, 2014

I’ve been sick for much of the summer and the beginning of fall so knitting just has not been happening.  I am now ready to start my holiday knitting and pray I have enough time to get what I want done.  Here’s what’s been doing.

 

Scrappy (or not so Scrappy) Shawl

Here’s a picture of the finished object from the pattern page on Ravelry.  There are several and definitely worth a look.

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I was supposed to be a tester for this pattern and while I gave input, I misread the instructions and did it the wrong way, then I did it the wrong way again, and finally I got it right.  Here’s my meager shawl.

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I’m still going to be plugging away at it but Christmas knitting is on the horizon so it may take a back seat for a while along with my sleeping Hitchhiker and Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.

 

Magic Yarn Ball Swap

I was treated very kindly as always and got some marvelous yarns.  Two skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Sealing Wax, A skein of Tosh Sock in Gossamer, mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket, and some other goodies as well.

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Christmas Knitting

As usual I have probably bitten off more than I can chew and some of these will be new year’s presents, but who is keeping count?

Color Affection for someone.  Here’s the finished object.

Color Affection Shawl

Here are the colors I’m using in Tosh Merino Light – Nutmeg, Golden Hickory, and Oak.

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And two mystery projects because I don’t know if their intended recipients read here or not.

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I also have matching sweaters I want to make my kids and a sock yarn monkey I want to make for my nephew.  We’ll see how much I can get done.  I’ll be knitting a gauge swatch for one of the mystery gifts tomorrow.  If you haven’t already, like my page on Facebook and keep up with what’s on the needles. TTFN!

 

Long Time No See March 12, 2014

It has indeed been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I have actually been knitting, but not nearly as much as I’d like to be.  I have two shawls waiting to be blocked, another one on the needles, a sock that I’ve barely started and as soon as I get my replacement size 6 needle, I’m going to be casting on for Color Affection.

The first shawl that is waiting to be blocked is an original design called Flirty.  My husband got me a beautiful skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coquette for Christmas.  I had made a little shawlette out of some Noro Silk Garden Sock (surprisingly in the colorway that comes up when you click the link) years ago.  I played yardage chicken with it and finished it with only six inches to spare.  I always intended to do something with it but I never actually wrote down a pattern.  When I opened my Christmas present I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.

tosh merino light cocquette

Flirty is a wide but short shawl with a ruffled edge, just long enough to tie at your throat to keep your neck warm.  I’m planning on getting some blocking done in the beginning of next week so I’ll post pics then.

The second shawl I’ve been working on is Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-a-long.  A Mystery knit-a-long is one where you get individual “clues” or pieces of the pattern and you have no idea how the pattern is actually going to turn out.  My knitting board was doing it as a knit-a-long so I decided to jump in.  I was worried about making gauge for some reason so I knit it on US Size 5 (4.25mm) needles instead of the recommended US Size 6 (4.5mm) needles.  I went to my LYS and found the most wonderful color of Tosh Merino Light, Whiskey Barrel.  Here’s an in progress shot.

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I actually ordered blocking wires which just came this week to block this one since I really want it to come out looking right.

The third shawl which is currently on the needles is the Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.  Well, it was The Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.  I was getting ready to link the project page on Ravelry and the first thing I noticed is that the price was only $3.00 and I was a bit miffed because I paid $7.00 since the knit-a-long had already started when I jumped in.  There’s a lengthy explanation and I don’t know if my original pattern is any good any more.  I’m going to have to do some digging on the Ravelry forums to find out what is going on.  I bought the new pattern, but I don’t know if I want to do it any more.  This is incredibly annoying.  Here’s the in-progress shot (and this week’s WIP Wednesday) from the original pattern.  I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking about this*(see update below).

Desolation of Smaug Clue 1

The yarn is Tosh Merino Light in the Envy colorway — my birthday present from my husband.  He’s done a great job picking out yarn colors for me this year.  Interesting story about the yarn.  I told him I wanted sock yarn for my birthday.  He went to one of the LYS’s in the area and asked the clerk to show him some sock yarn.  The clerk went on to tell him that sock yarn wasn’t really for socks and steered him towards the Tosh Merino Light.  Now, I love Tosh Merino Light, but sock yarn it isn’t.  Who ever this person was she has no business working in a yarn store.  I’ve told him to go to the other LYS from now on since their staff seems more knowledgeable.

There’s the sock, but that’s really waiting room and bus knitting so it’ll get done when it gets done.  The next big thing on the agenda is Color Affection.

Color Affection Shawl

In these colors…

Tosh Merino Light Color Affection Colors

This is my, “I quit smoking for a month.” (it’s now two!) present to myself.  I love the colors and as soon as I get my replacement needle for Knit Picks, I’m going to cast on.  It’s all done in garter stitch so it’s perfect for doing at night when the kids are in bed and I’m watching TV with my husband.

That’s about it for now.  I should have two finished objects the beginning of next week so keep an eye out for the next post.  TTFN!

UPDATE:  It turns out there are TWO Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-longs.  Here’s the link to the one I’m doing — The Desolation of Smaug.  So now I own both patterns and I don’t have to frog again.

 

Box of Goodness! October 2, 2013

I’m still hard at work with sooper seekrit projects and an update on that will probably come next week.  In the meantime,  I’ve been working on my Oaklet Shawl.  Thing Two wanted in on the progress pic so here he is…

Oaklet Shawl

But the big news is my swap package came in the mail today and it’s fantastic!  The due date isn’t until the end of the month so getting this early is super cool.  It’s everything I could have dreamed of and more.

Yarn

The purple is from Julie Spins, the colorway is Sweet Caroline and it’s 50/50 Wool/Silk fingering weight.  I think I’m going to do Rainstorm Shawl with it since the drape will be perfect for it.  The other skein is Spinner’s Candy La Grande Fingering yarn, 100% superwash wool in Dierdre of the Sorrows.  I love the color — it’s a lot like the vanilla bean Tosh Merino Light I’m doing the Oaklet Shawl in.  Both are so soft and squishable.  But it doesn’t end there!

Chocolate

Project Bag

Patterns

Those are Dr. Who stitch markers with the project bag.  Chocolate, patterns, and a project bag.  I sure could get used to this kind of treatment.

 

Pocket Frogs September 15, 2013

Pocket Frog

I’ve been sitting on this pattern for going on seven years now and have yet to get it into shape so I can publish it.  It was one of the first things I ever designed.  If I can pull it off, I’ll be publishing it this fall and offering kits to make it up in my Etsy shop.  Here’s what I got for the frogs for my pattern pictures.

Pocket Frog Yarn

Clockwise from the top, I have Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Bittersweet, Manos del Uruguay Wool Cassica Multis in Cornucopia, Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Plaid Blanket and, Malabrigo Rastita in Archangel.  For fingering weight I plan to do up a set of rainbow ones with left over yarn from the sooper seekrit project.

Speaking of sooper seekrit projects, I’m about to put the finishing touches on it this afternoon.  In the interim, I started a second sooper seekrit project.  Here’s the swatch.

DSCF2693You can see the final product on my Facebook page.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Terra.  I’m not entirely sold on the yarn.  It has absolutely no give which was a bit of a pain.  I’m using some Tosh Merino Light in a shawl but that’s using a fine yarn on bigger needles so stretch really isn’t a factor.  I bought it because it was the perfect color, but I may choose differently the next time I need a DK weight yarn.  There are still two more parts of the project that I want to get done this week, it just depends on the kids and my school schedule.

To break the tedium of the sooper seekrit project, I joined a knit along on one of my knitting boards and started the Oaklet Shawl.  I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Vanilla Bean (which I love) on US Size 6 (4.0mm) needles.  I’m kind of meh on the pattern — I usually like my shawls to be more lacy, but it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  Besides, all of that stockinette really shows off the colors in the Vanilla Bean.

Oaklet ShawlI’m ordered most of this yarn from Eat.Sleep.Knit with the $50.00 store credit I won when I ordered that sweater’s worth of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Golden Hickory.  Some of their prices are a little bit more than my LYS but their stock is good and shipping is super fast.

Look for pics of the sooper seekrit project next Sunday.  Happy knitting!

 

 

Lots of Mail (and a bit of knitting too) April 6, 2013

I haven’t been doing too much knitting the past week or so, but I have been getting a lot of mail.  First off are two books that I picked up from Amazon.

Entrelac Essential Guide

This was purchased on a whim when someone recommended it to me — Entrelac, The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale.  I’ve only done a quick perusal of it, so I don’t have enough to give it a proper review.  At first glance though she shows you how to do some really neat things with entrelac.  I’ve loved entrelac knitting ever since I first saw it years ago.  I even made my oldest’s Christmas stocking in entrelac as well as my favorite pair of fingerless mitts.  I’m out of practice with doing it though so I’ll use the instructions in the book to make a few swatches.  Look for a full review in the coming weeks.

socks from the toe up

This was a no brainer — Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson.  I used to follow her blog when she first started out and my first couple of pairs of socks were knit from the toe up (I even converted Pomatomus to toe-up).  I’ve only been using top-down for the past few years because of my high instep and the better fit I get with a heel flap.  After the rave reviews I’ve gotten about this book from Super Stella Sox and a few others, I finally decided to get the book.  At first glance I’m pretty excited.  It doesn’t have too much information on adjusting fit which is my big beef with most sock books, but it does have a heel I’ve never tried before and I’m pretty sure I can alter it to accommodate my high instep.  I also look forward to using the Turkish cast on and a sewn bind off again which are both things that I love.  Again, once I’ve gotten to play with this a bit more I’ll post a full review.

This year I’m going to attempt to make my kids matching sweaters for Christmas.  I had grand plans for this about 4 years ago and got as far as designing the cable patterns and actually making a sweater for my youngest (which he never did get around to wearing).  I’m thinking of using the same cable pattern again and making them ganseys rather than full cable knit sweaters.

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Not the best picture of the swatch, but I already have it charted out so it’ll be easier than starting from scratch.  I decided to let them pick out the colors they wanted for their sweaters and after a few false starts with garish shades of yellow, I got them to agree to a nice burnt orange color.

Orange Yarn

Webs is having a sale on Cascade 220 superwash, so I was able to scoop up what will probably be too much yarn for a really good price.  This project won’t be started until probably this summer at which point I’m sure I’ll have changed the design of the sweaters at least five times.

In WIP news, I’m in the straight section of my Saroyan scarf and should be starting the decrease section after a few more repeats.  I love knitting with the pashmina and I’m looking forward to finding another excuse to use it again.

Saroyan Scarf

I’ve also started working on my second Black Magic sock.  The Saroyan is my main project, but I need to be able to read the chart so it’s not as portable as a sock.

Black Magic sock

I usually tend to work on it while I’m waiting for the kids to fall asleep because it’s simple enough that I can knit it by the light of their night light.

I still haven’t touched my green sweater and I’m going to have to get it finished soon or I’ll have to wait until the fall to wear it because the weather is rapidly changing.  I’m hoping I can push myself to get some work done on it this week for sure.

 

Fluffy Mail March 15, 2013

I finally found someplace where I could order the Tosh Merino Light in the color I really wanted for a sweater, Eat.Sleep.Knit.  It was more expensive than other places I’ve seen Tosh Merino Light listed, $21.00 a skein to the $19.00 my LYS Loop charges, but it’s so hard to find any Madelinetosh in quantity that I just went with it.  My order got here super fast too, just three days turn around.

Tosh Merino Light, Golden Hickory

 

It’s the Golden Hickory colorway (the same as the Pashmina that I got at Knitty City) and I love it.  I’m planning another top-down raglan with a boat neck, 3/4 sleeves, and tunic length.  Of course I have to finish the green sweater before I cast-on for another big project, so I’m hoping to get those sleeves done this weekend.

As if yarn wasn’t good enough, I got a little “Yarn Lotto” card with my order and I won a $50 store credit!  So who knows, there may be another Tosh sweater in my future.  They also sent two mini skeins which I can use on my sock yarn blanket.

In other news, the socks I’m making from the Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou are coming along nicely.  I’m just about finished the gusset so I should have the first sock finished by the end of the weekend.  I’ve also decided I’m going to frog the Rick sock.  I’m just not happy with the way it’s turning out and the unevenness of my yarn overs.  I’ll have to so some searching to find another good pattern to use with the Manos Alegria yarn.

 

New York, New York, what a wonderful town March 10, 2013

My long awaited yarn crawl of New York happened yesterday and here’s the woolly goodness I brought home with me.

First stop was Knitty City.  They had an incredible selection of yarns from ultra high end blends all the way down to Sugar ‘n Cream cotton.  The staff was super nice and they even had a “man” chair for my husband to sit and read in while I shopped.  I found 5 skeins of Tosh Merino Light in Stephen Loves Tosh for a sweater but I was unsure of the color (it was mostly golden yellow with a bit of purple).  I decided I would wait on it and check out the other store in the area, The Yarn Company, to see what they had.

We walked over to the Yarn Company but they weren’t open yet so we hung out at Starbucks for a coffee and a morning bun.  I talked to my mom while we were there and we both agreed that I couldn’t pull off yellow so sweater yarn from Knitty City was off the table.  After we were finished, we walked over to The Yarn Company.  I have to stay I wasn’t super impressed with the selection.  It was mostly high-end yarns.  They did have some Three Irish Girls and the Verdant Gryphon as well as some other exclusive yarns, but nothing really called out to me.  The store itself was very neat and organized, not like the barely controlled chaos of Knitty City.  I did end up making a purchase, some Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou superwash merino in Black Magic II which is a sport weight in 50g hanks.  It was much more than I would usually pay for sock yarn, but I really liked the colorway.

Great Adirondack superwash merino

We walked back over to Knitty City and there I grabbed a hank of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Golden Hickory (the colorway I really want to use for my sweater) and a bag of Koigu KPPPM mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket.

Knitty City Yarn

We hit the Lego store for the kids (and my husband) and then had Korean for lunch.  Our next stop was School Products Yarn.  Now if you’ve ever been, the store is not much to look at.  They carry a lot of imported yarns and some unusual fibers ( I still have a ball of baby camel from my last visit three years ago that I have yet to do something with).  I was hoping to score a cone of their Provence Lace Merino like I did three years ago, but they didn’t have any.  I did buy a cone of the Lace Merino in a very pretty blue.  The cone is a pound and a half so that works out to be 5,100 yards of yarn for $39.00.  It’s definitely worth a stop to see what they have on hand.

Lace Merino Cone

We did a bit more shopping and then ended up at Purl Soho.  It was nice, reminded me a little bit of one of my local LYSs, Loop.  They had a decent selection of yarns and in quantity as well, They were all arranged in the front of the store so you had to use a ladder to reach the upper cubbies.  There was also fabric and sewing notions in the back of the store.  I had some hope of finding my Tosh Merino Light, but they only had semisolids.  It was fairly crowded when we got there so I just didn’t have the patience to try and find their sock yarns.  If I’m in the neighborhood again, I’ll probably pop in for a quick visit but I don’t think I’ll go down there just to stop at their store.

There are a lot of places that I just didn’t get the chance to visit or were closed.  Seriously, who’s closed on a Saturday?  I’m hoping to attend Vogue Knitting Live next January which should keep me busy enough that I won’t have time to visit any place else.  All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my haul but a little bummed that I couldn’t get my sweater yarn.  I already have plans to do Citron with my Lace Merino but I’m already dreading all that purling.  I’ll have to look through my queue on Ravelry to find something to do with the rest of it, maybe something Estonian, I have a love affair with nupps.  Even after that, I should still have enough for another shawl, if not two so we’ll have to see.