The Christmas Knitting, Part Two: The Scarfening

As you may recall, I did a crapload of knitting for Christmas. I showed you Part One a couple of weeks ago. Being that I forgot to document the scarves I made for my sister and Jette, I had to ask the recipients to take photos themselves. They obliged, and I finally got off my ass and resized the photos, so here’s the long-awaited Christmas Knitting, Part Two (I know you’ve been wringing your hands in anticipation).  The pattern is Just Enough Ruffles by Laura Chau, which both giftees requested specifically … it was The “It” Scarf this year, apparently.

This is the one I made for my sister. Yarn is Malabrigo worsted weight in Polar Morn.

And here’s the one I made for Jette out of Cascade Eco Duo in Almond Smoke. These pictures show what the reverse side of the scarf looks like.

While I’m at it, here are my first two FOs of 2011. First up is another scarf, a triangle with some purl rows interspersed among the stocking stitch for texture. I thought I made this up, but I found a couple of similar patterns on Ravelry, so apparently … I didn’t. As Elizabeth Zimmermann would have said, I unvented it.

Made from one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in Tiziano Red.

And I finished the Baudelaires!

Pattern is by Cookie A, available free on Knitty. These are toe-up socks; I prefer top-down, usually, but this pattern was pretty fun. And they went really fast. The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl McPhee, says something in one of her books about how colorwork patterns seem to knit up faster than plain ones, even though they logically must take more time. That’s how I felt about these socks. The pattern wasn’t overly fiddly, but it was definitely more time consuming than just plain knitting. And yet, I finished these socks at what felt like warp speed.

Yarn is Louet Gems fingering weight in French Blue.

And finally, a look at the current WiPs lineup, because why not? This picture doesn’t represent the colors of the items very accurately, but them’s the breaks.

Clockwise from bottom left:

Obnoxious pink item is the Lettuce Leaf Scarf by Janice Lynn. Yarn is Knit Picks Shadow Tonal Lace Yarn in Summer Blooms colorway.

Partially finished sock is just that–a plain-ass sock, the first of what will be the 20th pair I’ve knit for my mom over the past few years. Yarn is Colinette Jitterbug in Sable.

Lavender socks are my second pair of Twinkleberries. Yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal sock yarn in Blue Violet.

Big fuzzy green blob is the Aeolian shawl by Elizabeth Freeman, available on Knitty. I am madly in love with this pattern and am seriously considering knitting another when I’m done with this one. Yarn is Malabrigo lace weight in Olive, and it is an olivey green, not a foresty green like it looks here.

Smack in the middle is my first Vilai, from Sock Innovation by Cookie A. Yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Oxblood, and it’s very, very pretty. I had initially used this yarn to start a plain sock while waiting with The Mister in urgent care, but I decided the yarn is interesting enough that it would look amazing in a pattern that uses biased stitches. So yesterday I frogged the Bad Juju Ear Infection Sock and I started the Vilais. Pattern promises to be very interesting and fun, if a bit of a pain in the ass, thanks to a “cable cross” that involves TWO cable needles.

Crafty people! What are YOU working on?

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 11:53 am  Comments (6)  
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Slow Progress

So. I started the Lissajous socks over the weekend.

Are you wildly impressed? No? How about if I told you that that little bit of sock represents about an hour and a half of knitting? And that the chart looks like this?

Yeah. Gonna be a while before these are done. At least the yarn is really nice.

Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 7:24 am  Comments (4)  
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Welcome To My Bawdy Lair

BAD PUN! BAD PUN!

Since I finished all my Christmas knitting, I’ve started a few new projects. Including Cookie A’s Baudelaire socks.

Check out how the gusset and heel flap stitches flow into the cable. Fancy! That’s why Cookie A is a sock designer and I’m not.

These are toe-up socks. I usually prefer top-down, but these have been pretty fun. I do like the idea that you can make them as tall as possible until you run out of yarn.

With flash:

The yarn I’m using is Louet Gems fingering weight in French Blue. From, of course, the Loopy Ewe. It’s been really fun to work with–very spongy and bouncy and squishy. Love it. Need more.

Check out the blurry cat in this one.

I cannot recommend Cookie A’s sock patterns highly enough. I have her book “Sock Innovations,” and I just got “Knit. Sock. Love.” in the mail this past week too. It’s going to keep me very busy for a very long time. Once I’m done with the Baudelaires, I’m going to embark on a truly complicated pattern: Lissajous (the shorter sock version, not the taller stocking version–although, how incredible are those?). They’re for my mom; I told her to expect them in, oh, June or so. If she’s lucky.

Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 11:40 am  Comments (4)  
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Fully Clothed And Partially Socked

Is there a word for “with socks on”? You know, like clothed, shod … socked? Bestockinged?

Part two of my outfit of the day series! Once again, this ensemble is not too freaking exciting, but it’s a fairly typical workday outfit for me. I wear a lot of REALLY long skirts and t-shirts (nice ones! Not like the giant Sisters of Mercy t-shirts I wore in high school). I’d love to have some nice button-down shirts for work, but cursory research indicates that there is no such thing as a woven shirt that fits both my boobs and my waist. If it fits around the chestal region, it sags at the waist, and if it fits at the waist, there’s no way in hell I’m getting the top buttons done up. So t-shirts it is. (The skirt doesn’t seem quite so long when I’m walking around, I promise.)

Mister Principessa and I are still fiddling with my camera, so these photos are a little experimental. In the one above, he stood way back and zoomed in on me. In the next one, he stood closer and didn’t zoom at all.

Help! Help! I’m sinking into the ground!

T-shirt and tank top are from Old Navy. The skirt is from Shukr, a site I HIGHLY recommend if you’re into floor-length skirts like I am. It’s actually an Islamic clothing site, so you can find hijabs and things there too. Their clothing is very high quality, and their skirts fit me really well (aside from the length issue–but then, everything is long on me).

I’m not wearing shoes in this picture, but you couldn’t see them even if I were, now, could you? I am going to go ahead and admit here that I wore flip-flops with this outfit. Hey, it’s southern California, we’re a casual office, and it was 92 goddamn degrees today.

That takes care of the clothes. On to the socks! You’ll be ever so excited to hear that I’ve been knitting like a fiend lately. Unfortunately, I can’t show you any of the many projects I’ve finished because they’re all going to be Christmas presents for people who read this blog on a semi-regular basis.  So you can expect a BIG knitting post around 26 December. In the meantime, here’s a single partly finished sock to tide you over!

Flash

No flash

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Rock the Olive. Oooooh, this yarn is nice. So soft. In fact, I think it might be a little too soft for socks. This is a personal preference; I like my socks to be fairly sturdy, and this yarn is a bit on the shiny, slippery side for me. I have another skein of it, which I think might end up as a scarf instead of socks.

Oh, and I did cast on that pair of Twinkleberry socks in the Black Bunny yarn, but they have since been frogged. The yarn was just wrong for the pattern; it needs to be knit using smaller needles than I usually use for socks, which is all fine and good but means I’d need to increase the stitch count to make the socks a wearable size. So, back to the drawing board!

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm  Comments (12)  
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Sock Yarn Is Awesome

Hallelujah, I done finished another one!

I’d been working on these off and on for the past couple of months, so I had one sock finished and about a quarter of the second one done when I decided to buckle down and finish them up this past week. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they turned out almost perfectly identical.

I didn’t do that on purpose. I love self-striping sock yarn, but I almost never make an effort to get the socks to come out the same. In fact, one of my favorite things about self-striping yarn is the way that you frequently end up with socks that are clearly related, but not identical.

Now that I’ve finished my socks, surely I’ll move on to something else, right?

Hmmm. Nope. More socks. To be honest, I sort of don’t consider socks “real knitting.” Or rather, I don’t consider them “real projects”–that is, unless they’re going to be a gift for someone else. I almost always have at least one pair of socks on the go, and frequently more than one. And who could blame me, really, with colors like this beckoning from my yarn basket (let’s keep up the charade that I only have one, shall we?)?

This particular yarn (Black Bunny Fibers Superwash Merino Classic in “Chuck”) is destined to become these socks. I’ve knit this pattern before and can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s fun, it’s fast, and the socks come out looking much more complicated than they actually are. If you’re getting bored with plain stockinette socks and are looking for a sock pattern that’s a bit interesting but not, say, Cookie A-level complex, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Speaking of the yarn basket, there’s a project lurking in there that I forgot to mention in my project roundup the other day.

I’m making a blanket (inspired by this) out of all my leftover bits and bobs of sock yarn. And believe me, there are a LOT of them. I haven’t worked on this for a while, but it’s completely addictive, and as the evenings turn chillier, I’m thinking more and more about picking it up again. Might have to haul it out this evening.

Published in: on October 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm  Comments (9)  
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A Journey into My Knitting Basket

I sat down to knit the other night, and as balls of yarn and errant needles tumbled out of my knitting basket onto my lap, I thought to myself, hmmmm … I should probably finish some of this stuff up. (That wasn’t my first thought, though. My first thought was “Crap, I need a bigger knitting basket. Or maybe just a second one.”) Here’s the basket in question.

(Let’s pretend that’s not another basket full to overflowing with yarn in the background. Let’s further pretend that that particular basket isn’t one of three.)

So what IS all that crap in there? Well, it falls into two basic categories: projects and … doodads. Gizmos. The little things that knitters have to haul around in order to make knitting and finishing projects easier and more pleasant.

First up: the projects! Here’s what I’m currently working on. I’ve posted about a couple of these before, so they might look familiar. And yes, they’re all for me. There’s a reason I’m in the Selfish Knitters group on Ravelry, people.

A pair of socks (no pattern, just my standard plain sock; yarn, Trekking Maxima in the charmingly named color 903):

A shawl (pattern: Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmermann; yarn, Dream in Color Baby in Gothic Rose):

A scarf (pattern: slightly altered [narrower] version of the Upstairs shawl; yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in Vineyard Heather):

Another scarf (pattern: slightly altered [wider] version of Dainty Bess by JoLene M. Treace; yarn: Grignasco MerinoSilk in black):

A side note about this one: It is taking FOREVER to knit, because the yarn looks like this:

Yeah. That barely deserves the title “yarn.” That’s more like “thread.” It’s actually quite nice to work with, and the scarf is going to be extremely lightweight and delicate and probably totally worth the effort. But it does take more time to complete a project when you’re constructing it out of a material the approximate diameter of dental floss.

Also, I did go ahead and start the Just Enough Ruffles scarf, for which I’m using my beloved Malabrigo in worsted weight; color is Natural.

Oh, and there may be a Special Super Secret project going on too, which I think I’m going to just roll over into the “Christmas gifts” category.

And then there are these:

OK, OK, so these aren’t projects, per se. But I really really want them to be! That second one especially, which is the same yarn I used for my mom’s socks and happens to go very nicely with one of the hats I bought on vacation!

So that takes care of the projects part. On to the doodads!

What have we here? Well, in the photo, I spy the following:

  • Yarn labels
  • A needle gauge
  • A pair of scissors
  • A crochet hook
  • Eight (8) pens and highlighters (what?)
  • Rustproof pins
  • Stitch markers
  • A tape measure
  • Various notepads and Post-It notes
  • A scrap of paper with my shawl row count on it
  • My “Little Knitting Book” of handy information from the Loopy Ewe

Other things I can’t see but know are in there:

  • End stopper things for my interchangeable circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • Yarn scraps
  • Wite-Out
  • Beads I intended to use on a project that’s now in Project Jail in my closet

Knitting requires a lot of crap. The yarn and needles are just the beginning.

Anyway, my goal here is to finish a few of these bad boys up. Christmas is on the way, and there are a few people in my life who get handknit gifts from me every year. I’m starting to plan those gifts, so I need to free up some needles and basket space for the Christmas knitting.

Then again, one can always buy more needles and baskets …

Published in: on October 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm  Comments (7)  
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