Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

The more things change… January 20, 2016

…the more they stay the same.  I have signed onto yet another Mystery Knit-a-long, this one by a designer new to me called Casapinka.  The shawl is called Welcome Back Garter and looks like it will be interesting based on her other designs.  I won’t be able to start this one for almost a month when funds become available, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.  I’m going to branch out again and use something other than my shawl go-to, Tosh Merino Light.  The colorways just aren’t doing it for me any more so any suggestions for fingering weight yarns would be greatly appreciated.

In other news, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon my Facebook knitting group is on and make myself a pair of Rose City Rollers – only using ribbing instead of the rolled cuff which I know would drive me crazy.  I have 60+ grams of Tough Love Sock in Honey Fig leftover from The Doodler and I was going to do a pair of No Purl Monkey socks with the Pistachio for the cuffs, heels, and toes, but I can easily get a pair of anklets out of what’s left of the Honey Fig, and I like wearing ankle socks anyway.  One of my knitting New Year’s resolutions is to knit a pair of socks a month so even though I finished a pair already this month, I’m not really counting them because I started them back in November.

In the land of UFO’s (another resolution) – the Grass and Bubblegum shawl is two inches away from being finished.  Just in time to since I’m going to need it in the cold weather since my scarf has gone missing.  I still have The Desolation of Smaug (yeah, that’s how old it is) Mystery Knit-a-long to finish, two other shawls that need to be blocked, and to finish weaving in the ends (oh so many ends) on my Doodler so I need to get on the ball.  Lots to do until the funds are available for Welcome Back Garter.

I’m also treating myself to a set of Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries.  I just got the one with charted designs and it’s very nice.  Some beautiful cable designs – not as pretty as some in the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary but much more practical in my opinion.  I’m hoping for another when my birthday comes along next month, but I’ll have the set before the year is out.

I’ve been staying on top of it, so check the Knitty Keen Facebook page for Work in Progress Wednesday pics and the occasional Finished Object Friday.  Here’s the most recent finished object – my Crazy Zauberball garter rib socks.

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TTFN!

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot… December 30, 2015

It’s the end of the year and while I haven’t knit nearly as much as I would have liked, I did manage to get a few things done.  Here’s what’s been doing recently.

 

The Doodler

This was definitely been a challenge for me.  The cables nearly killed me, I think the biggest one had 34 stitches in it.  Then on clue three I kept messing up my count and having to frog and start all over again.  There was the running out of yarn in clue one and again in clue three I was afraid of it happening again, so I did the fourth wedge in Color A rather than Color C.  Here’s how it’s grown…

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The Doodler Clue 1

the doodler clue 2

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Here’s a pic of it blocking.  I’m still working on weaving in the ends.

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I’m really pleased with the results.  It fits over my shoulders perfectly and I look forward to wearing it in the hopefully chilly days to come.  Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Honey Fig, Saffron, and Pistachio on US size 4 (3.5mm) needles.

 

Follow Your Arrow 2 Shawl

This one took me quite a long time to get done.  I started out well but then it just sat for a while without being touched.  I still have yet to block it, but here’s a pic of it off the needles.

Follow Your Arrow 2 Shawl

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Baroque Violet and Grasshopper with US Size 6 (4.0mm) needles.

 

Monkey Jacobus

This one was a year in the making.  Looking back on my project page on Ravelry, I started it on the 23rd of December planning on gifting it on the 25th.  Yeah, right.  Well this year saw me finishing it on Christmas Eve to gift this year.  It was a hit for my nephew who loves monkeys.  Here’s the finished object.

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KnitPicks Stroll Handpainted in Carnival (discontinued color), Palette in Cream and Red, and Stroll Sock Yarn in Black on US size 2 (2.75mm) needles.

 

Grass and Bubblegum Shawl (Color Affection)

This has been languishing in UFO (unfinished object) territory for a while.  I’m going to starting to work on it in earnest again this weekend.  Here’s the most recent in progress pic where you can see how my gauge has changed.  I’m a little afraid to pick it back up again for fear of what my gauge will be this time.

grass and bubblegum shawl

 

Crazy Zauberball Socks

Compared to my other projects, these are practically flying off the needles.  Just finished the gusset on the second sock, so there’s not much left to do before the toe and finishing it off.  Here’s today’s Work in Progress Wednesday picture…

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I’m not taking classes this semester so I really want to buckle down and get some knitting done.  I have two sweaters I want to make, two shawls to finish, and I’m aiming for one pair of socks a month this year (although I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that up come fall with school).  Coming up I’ll be revisiting my review of Chiaogoo needles once I’ve finished my second sock on them and I’m finally going to put in the work and get some patterns published.  Check out the Knittykeen Facebook page to keep up with Work in Progress Wednesday pictures.  I think that’s enough to be working with for now, TTFN!

 

 

WIP’s and an FO January 28, 2015

I’ve been flitting from project to project these past few weeks.  Some of them aren’t portable so I can only work on them at home, other’s only get worked on while I’m riding the bus on Thursdays and Fridays.  Here’s what’s doing.

 

Flirty v 1.0

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Finally wove in the ends on this tonight and got some pictures to post.  This is the first version I did of Flirty way back in December of ’13.  The wing span is 62″ and the depth is 18″.  I’m hoping to get a bit more width out of it by going up a needle size and I also did a garter tab at the top so it looks neater.  Here’s where I am with version 1.1.

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I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Georgia O’Keefe.  When I first looked at the skein I thought it was a dark blue, but knit up it’s definitely more green.  I have one more eyelet repeat to finish before I start the short rows that will add to the wing span, then onto the ruffled edging.  I’m hoping to have the knitting on this done by the end of the weekend.

Monkey Jacobus

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He has a face now and most of an arm.  I’ve been dragging my feet on this one since doing it it fingering is such a PITA, but it needs to get finished so I can gift it at long last to my nephew next weekend.

Earth and Sea Socks (aka Pomatomus)

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These really only get worked on during my commute to appointments on Thursdays and Fridays.  We’ll see how much progress I can make this week.

Grass and Bubble Gum Shawl (aka Color Affection)

Tosh Merino Light Color Affection Colors

 

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I’ve been able to add a couple of more stripes since I started it on the 14th considering I’ve had the yarn for almost a year.  The colors in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light are Jade, Lepidoptra, and Clematis.   It’s getting time to switch to a longer cable so I can stretch it out.  It’s reached the point where it’s not really portable knitting any more so it will probably only get worked on on Wednesdays during Thing 1’s appointment where there is a nice couch in the waiting room where I can arrange the yarn balls around me.  I’d like to get this finished sooner than later but there are other things ahead of it in the queue.

That’s all for this week.  I still have gloves that I’d like to finish before the cold weather is gone, but that’s another at-home project so we’ll see what happens with those.  There’s also a sweater but again I don’t know if I’ll have the time to finish it before winter ends.  Maybe if I can manage my knitting time better I’ll be able to start cranking out some projects.  TTFN!

 

Action Shot and Flirting January 12, 2015

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Color Affection in action.

Way back last Christmas, my husband got me a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coquette (he was supposed to get sock yarn but the clerk told him sock yarn wasn’t for socks and steered him to the TML, definitely someone who shouldn’t be working in a yarn store, he goes to the other LYS in town now).  A day or two after Christmas I had an idea of recreating a shawlette that I had knit ages ago and of course wrote down no notes on how I made it.  I knew I used US size 8 (5.0mm) on the original and Noro Silk Garden Sock, but I chose to cast on with US size 6 (4.0mm) instead because I wanted to see how it worked out.  It’s a simple garter stitch triangle shawl with an eyelet row spaced every so often, then I added in short rows to make the wings longer without adding to the depth, and after a couple of days of crunching numbers and frogging back a time or two I added a ruffled edge and Flirty was born.  Illness and other stuff happened so I never got a chance to write up the pattern properly and publish it.  I just now got around to blocking it.

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I should have used my wires, but I will when I do the next one.  Firstly, I want to do a garter tab rather then casting on seven stitches because it looks neater that way.  Secondly, I’m on the fence about going up a needle size to get more width out of it — I’m going to have to wait and see how this one drapes before deciding if I’m going to try it on US size 7 (4.5mm) needles.  I had about 100 yards of yarn left from knitting this and I think going up to an eight will eat up too much of that but I may be able to squeak by with a seven.  You can wear Flirty like a kerchief with the point in front and the ends wrapped around your neck, you can knot it loosely in the front to give your neck a little bit of warmth, or you can pin it on your shoulder with a shawl pin.  The ruffled edge turns it from a staid triangle shawl to something much more feminine.  Look for the pattern some time in February.

 

What’s in the works January 8, 2015

Haven’t done one of these in an age in a half.  I’ve been posting Work in Progress Wednesday pics on my Facebook page but I haven’t taken the time to write up what I’ve been doing.

Color Affection

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I started this way back on October 17th.  Started off with Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Oak, Nutmeg, and Golden Hickory.  Finished the first section only to find out that I had read the instructions wrong and had to frog the whole thing.  Got through the second section and started the third when I realized the Golden Hickory had too much green in it and blended in with the Oak, so I ordered a skein of Sequoia and that did the trick.  I finished the knitting on it about two weeks ago and am only now getting a chance to block it so I can gift it on Sunday.  Once I got into the rhythm of it it was a great watching/listening to TV knit.  Not super portable once you get to three colors, I had to arrange the balls around me in a certain way so I didn’t get tangles.  I have yarn to make myself one which I’ll most likely be starting next month.

 

No Purl Monkey Socks

 

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These were started about the same time as Color Affection, but they were finished on the Sunday before Christmas.  No real problems with these except for my needle bending which made them painful to knit.  The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Deep Sea Flower.  Despite the painful knitting, the yarn was a dream to work with.  I was worried that they would be too small for their intended recipient since the pattern called to start the toe 1.5″ from the length of foot and I’ve always done 2″, this was one of the first times I was working directly from a pattern and not just a lace chart and my own measurements.  I went with the 2″ and they fit her perfectly.

 

Snowmen

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These were the bane of my existence this holiday season.  The plan was to have the pattern go live the beginning of November with a stock of finished ornaments and kits to make them to sell in my Etsy Shop.  Illness got in the way and that launch date got pushed further and further back until I just decided it wasn’t happening this year and I’ll try for next year.  I managed to get 4 bodies done but only finished two of them to give as teacher gifts.

 

Neck Warmer

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This was a quick and dirty knit for my son who needed something to keep his neck and face warm.  I used my Neck Warmer pattern but instead of the pattern stitch I did 2×2 ribbing since it was for a child.  It does look nicer than this in person since the ends have been woven in and it’s been blocked.  Only problem is that Thing 1 declared that it’s too itchy so he hasn’t worn it.  This is some Patons Classic Wool I had in my stash so next time I’ll have to go with something softer since he does have sensitive skin.  It’ll be a good back up for my husband.

 

Pomatomus

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I call these my Earth and Sea socks.  They are knit from River City Yarn’s Adam & Eve, a merino, cashmere, and nylon blend in a color way called Walnut.  The yarn was a gift from a friend in Canada and the yarn made exclusively for the yarn shop.  I have always loved Pomatomus, but I was afraid that the sock would be too tight on my big feet so I used the advice in Cookie A’s Sock Innovation to alter the leg chart to a 14st repeat and altered the instep chart accordingly.  I was a bit nervous about the instep chart since it has those two bits on either side, but when it came time for me to do the second instep repeat it worked!  I probably could have done another half a repeat before starting the toe, but it still looks good.

 

Monkey Jacobus

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This is the head and neck of Monkey Jacobus.  The first snag came when the Knit Picks Bare Merino Fingering (which they don’t make any more) I was planning to use for the face was moth eaten, so I had to use Knit Picks Palette instead which is a different base from the Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted Sock in Carnival (a discontinued color) that I was using for the body.  Second snag is that knitting this pattern in fingering is a study in frustration.  I’m supposed to gift it on Sunday and I don’t have any real worries about finishing it on time but weaving in ends and using new techniques are that much harder when using US Size 2 (2.75mm) needles.  I’m sorely tempted to see what I have in stash to do this in worsted weight, but I’ve already come so far that I’m going to see it through to the end.

 

Gloves

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This is actually my third go round with this pattern.  The yarn in Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Sock in Kathmandu that I bought last January.  After some searching for a pattern for my larger than average hands, I settled on Ann Budd’s basic glove pattern from her book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.  I decided to start out with a woman’s large at 8sts/inch.  Turns out that I get 7sts/inch on my US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) needles, so I frogged and decided to try the women’s large at the proper gauge.  When I got to the finger I knew that this wasn’t going to work since I could barely slide it on.  I’ve decided to go back to my original 8sts/inch women’s large (basically a men’s medium) knowing everything will be a bit larger because of the gauge difference but I’m sure I’ll get a better fit.

 

There’s a lot coming up – a sweater for me, a shawlette pattern that I need to do one more time before I have it tested and published, two shawls to finish and one to start, and stockings to make.  Due to illness, I didn’t get much knitting done in 2014, but 2015 will be different.  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!

 

 

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.

 

Shopping! (and some knitting too) February 8, 2013

I have not been in a LYS for such a long time, probably more than a year.  I went out on Saturday to check out a new place opened by one of the members of my knitting group called Hidden River Yarns.  It’s a bit off the beaten path for me but worth the trip.

Hidden River Yarns

I ended up with a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn, some miniskeins for my sock yarn blanket, and some stitch markers for a yarn swap I’m doing.  They had some cashmere blend sock yarn that I was sorely tempted to by as well as some gorgeous handspun.  I’ll be heading back up there on the 17th to work on my long hibernating sock yarn blanket, so I may succumb yet.

This afternoon, I hit two stores closer to home.  My first stop was Loop.  It’s always been one of my favorites, bright and airy with a nice selection of sock yarns which is what I always look for first.

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

 

This is a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Vanilla Bean.  I wasn’t planning on getting this particular color.  I am planning on making a shawl with it and needed to coordinate with another skein of Tosh Merino Light that I got as a gift two years ago.  I’ll be doing the Stella Luna shawl in a wonderful deep purple and the Vanilla Bean.

Stella Luna ShawlMadelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

The purple in the Vanilla Bean isn’t the same as the purple in the other yarn, but it’s close enough to be able to pull it all together.  I’m hoping to be able to cast-on for this by the end of the month, once I can get some new cables and needle tips for my interchangeables.

My second stop today was Rosie’s Yarn Cellar.  It’s nice and cozy and again has a wonderful selection of sock yarns.  I have been very interested in checking out the new Manos sock yarn, Alegria, and was not disappointed.  I wasn’t brave enough to get one of the neon blends, but there is always next time.

Yarn

 

I like the colors in the skein I picked a lot and am thinking about trying out one of the patterns from the Knitter’s Book of Socks if it’s not too much trouble to alter it to fit my foot.  The top skein is some Noro Iro, their bulky wool/silk blend, that I bought for my swap along with the Soak samples.

Enough about yarn, no onto some knitting.  I have not been working on this anyway near enough, but here’s my progress on my new green sweater.  It’s a top-down raglan using the Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan Pattern.  I’m about to start my third ball and am a few inches away from breaking off for the sleeves.  I’m worried about running out of yarn on this one so I’m going to put in a lifeline at 3/4 length for the sleeves and then knit the body and see if I can get away with long sleeves or not.  Here’s the progress I’ve made so far.

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I’m using School Products Provence Merino Lace, doubled on US Size 8 (5mm) needles.  I need to have it finished by March 9th when I go to New York so I can wear a sweater I made myself (something that’s only happened once before).