Monday, October 31, 2011

Glovember is Upon Us!!

Happy Glovember one and all!!

I have found my half-finished handwarmer that I started earlier this year which needs a mate and that will be my first Glovember goal. This project was my first attempt at color work and except for an unfortunate purling incident which my husband has told me no one will notice I think this half-handwarmer looks pretty good. A little nervous about picking up the stitches for the thumb which are on waste yarn- have only done that for baby sweater sleeves but they give you more stitches to work with...

 The second pair of handwarmers I want to make will be from this pattern. They are a surprise for a childhood friend who I haven't seen in many years. She plays the double bass so I think she'll dig these. She is one of those people who I have kept ever-so-slightly in touch with over Facebook and I feel like if I hadn't moved away we might be quite good friends. It's just a vibe I get. In any event, I think she will like them and they look way fun to make.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weaving in the Ends

Today was a lazy Sunday, but a super productive one. I finally bound off my second scarf for the Special Olympics Scarf Project. My mom had sent me the two she finished a while ago and I had promised to put tassels on them all- since I had some yarn left over.

Tassels. Are. Annoying.

That is all I have to say about that. I don't hate adding them as much as I do weaving in the ends or putting on buttons but I am still not a fan. All these things make a mess- you get little bits of yarn which the cat inevitably steals or you find them later stuck with surprising strength to the living room rug and it just takes so much time.

But I am done. With the tassels and weaving in the ends and everything. The scarves are in individual ziplocks ready to be mailed and I think they look wonderful. The scarves are going to be gifts to all those who participate in next year's Special Olympics as well to those who support them. I love that all these knitters and crocheters are so into into this and can all give something uniquely from them but all in the same colors. Wishing all participants lots of luck and fun for this wonderful event!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cowls and Socks and Podcasts, Oh My!

So many things to talk about today. First, obviously, the WIPs for WIPW:  

My second burberry inspired cowl

I only have one more repeat left to do in this pattern and then the most annoying challenging part- kitchener stitching it all together. I am actually looking forward to it a little bit because I feel like I  have the kitchener rhythm down now (famous last  words).


Then there's my sock, which I took out on the metro today instead of the cowl because it was rainy and gross outside and I didn't want the cowl to get soaked from people dripping their umbrellas or jacket sleeves all over it.

I think I am still on track to finish this sock by the end of Socktober, thus meeting my goal of completing my first pair of socks but it would have been nice to make two pairs. I know, I know. Given my schedule that is not only greedy but also ridiculous and impossible. There is something wrong with me.

After Socktober of course, comes Glovember (join my group on Ravelry!) during which I will be completing a pair of handwarmers for a good friend. I started them in the spring so yeah...good timing.

What else to share? What else? Oh well there's this- poor little penguins. Apparently they have enough sweaters now, oops, jumpers? But it doesn't hurt to keep some handy and model them on your cats. Do send pictures if you do. 
cats love being dressed, promise!

There's also this, which I heard about on Cast On. It is so cool. I want one.

ALSO- what is going on with Cast On? And Never Not Knitting? Is everyone leaving the podcast-o-sphere? Where did Sticks and String go? Thank goodness I still have Just One More Row and 2 Knit Lit  Chicks and Stash and Burn. I don't know what I am going to do when I am caught up with all the episodes.

My knitting podcast obsession started several weeks ago when I started a new work project. My work involves looking at hundreds of billions of boring documents all day. It doesn't involve a lot of brain activity though and so we are allowed to listen to music or whatever else while we do this. It became pretty clear early on that ABBA Gold loses its magical powers when you listen to it three times a day and I didn't want to waste it so I turned to podcasts. Generally speaking, they have changed my life. I listen to NPR, The Nerdist, WTF, Rachel Maddow, Freakonomics to name a few (I am not linking to them all) and I feel like I learn all these cool things every day. I also listen to a whole bunch of knitting related podcasts. Ones I didn't mention above that I have started listening to are YarnGasm, Cogknitive and Purl Diving (are there any more I should be listening to? I prefer them to be over half an hour and audio only so I can pay attention to my computer screen).Oh no! There are not going to be any new Purl Diving episodes either.

My only issue with the podcasts, the knitting ones specifically, is that I can't keep up with all the knitting I am hearing about. Relatively speaking, I am quite a new knitter, but because of the podcasts I feel like I know all this stuff which I don't have the time to put into practice all at once. I want to do cool things like the ravolympics, or go to fiber festivals, or dye my own yarn because it all sounds SO AWESOME. But I am at work, working, and I just can't. The good side of it is that I am constantly inspired and look forward to going to work, if only to learn about what is going on out there in the world. All these podcasts have also inspired me to create my own, but that dream has been hindered by my work and volunteering schedule the past few months. I hope to get my weeknights back at the end of next week (finally) as well as my weekends, and am going to start putting together episodes then. Phew.

This has been a very long post for me so I am going to go and work on my cowl now. I hope to be able to update soon with pictures of the matching hat I will be casting on tomorrow if not (fingers crossed) tonight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Knitting Without Pictures

I have been so busy since the last time I posted. I can't believe it has been almost a week. I am pretty bummed about that. The good news is that at least I have been squeezing in some knitting when I can. I have cast on another cowl. This one is for my best friend (I don't think she reads this blog, shocker) and I was a lot less nervous about using the provisional cast on this time. Also how cute is this- my husband glanced over at me while I was knitting the other day, noticed the different colored chain on the end of my work and asked "is that a provisional cast on?" So cute. Anyway, will post pictures of that tomorrow for WIPW, but now it is definitely bedtime.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP 'em out Wednesday!

It has been a busy week, both knitting and otherwise. My mother-in-law is visiting this weekend so I have been making sure things are neat and tidy and that I have the house stocked up with yummy snacks. I have made quite a few runs to the grocery store and I am finally done with all the preparations so I can relax and hang out when she is here. Also, now I can knit without guilt. Phew.

In keeping with the WIP Wednesday theme- this week I am continuing work on my second sock. It has become my Metro project as it fits in a teeny bag I can slip into the side compartment of my pocketbook. Now I have reached the part of the sock where I just have to continue knitting in the round until it is a little shorter than the rest of my foot, so it is perfect for picking up and putting down when I get on and off the train.

I am more excited about my second WIP- my first adult size sweater. It's for me, of course, and I can't wait to wear it! I am not thrilled with the yarn (Palette from Knit Picks) but it appears several people on Ravelry have also used it, so maybe it will be okay. The pattern is adorable and I am knitting it up in similar colors because I love the grey/yellow combination.

Finally, something I thought I would be posted as a WIP graduated to FO last night and I couldn't be happier/prouder. It is a hat to match my stripey sweater. Aren't they going to look so cute together!?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Perfect Drive

Today my husband and I went clay pigeon shooting. It wasn't really my thing. I think I would be much better with a handgun (he disagrees, because he is scared) but it was fun to learn how to do and the weather was beautiful as were the surroundings. On the way back home my husband drove and I tinked the baby sweater I was making and re-cast on in a smaller size because another friend is due soon (and the originally intended baby has already been made to wait this long so what's a little longer) and I had made some sort of mistake I couldn't figure out on an earlier row.

One thing I found out (besides the fact that knitting while being driven around is wonderful) is that things are much easier the second time around and you also remember them a little bit. I remember when I was knitting my first sock, wondering what in the world was I doing, what would this look like, slipping and knitting and picking up stitches. I didn't know what would come next and each step seemed so bizarre. Now on my second sock, not only do I remember most of what needs to be done but it is so much easier knowing how it is supposed to turn out. Same with the sweater- I know how to do the seed stitch edging now, and when and where and how to make the buttonhole and when to switch to stockinette. I feel so validated and proud of my little brain for retaining this information.

Anyway, when I got home I began work on finishing a hat for my husband. He picked out the yarn himself from Rosie's Yarn Cellar which we visited when we went to Philadelphia. It is Rowan Lima, which is a baby alpaca, merino and wool blend and it is fuzzy and fun. It is finished and while the sizing is a bit off unique, we have made it fit, so basically it's perfect.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rock Out With Your Sock Out

I have finished my first sock! I am going to cast on for the second right now. I am also working on a hat for my husband which I will be frogging for the third time later as it is still too small. Gah.

Sock #1

 I am so excited that I am finally going to have some time off to knit and relax. I have so many things I would like to work on, including this blog and future podcast, and it has all been on the back burner for a while. I have a much longer post in mind in which I want to talk about where my mind is right now, what knitting has done for me over the past several months and where I would like to be several more months from now, but I am going to put that off for another day. Since only one or two other people besides my mom read this blog, I am sure that is not a huge deal. Till then.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Almost Done is Half Begun

I am almost done with my first sock!! I was a bit disenchanted by the whole process until I experienced how easily I could pull out this project on the metro or while I was waiting around for a meeting to start and how fast it moved along even being worked on in short bursts. What put me over the edge with delight was trying on my almost sock. I can't wait to finish and am totally pumped about starting the second one!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sock it to Me

Lately everything has been coming up socks. I have been reading about them, hearing about them, seeing sock patterns everywhere. I don't have much experience knitting socks- I tried knitting a pair on double points but ripped out my first sock before I signed up for a two-socks-at-a-time class at my LYS, thinking I would like that more. However, I didn't really take to that method- maybe I'm not there yet with respect to my knitting capabilities, but it wasn't as satisfying as the DPN approach, and I ripped out those as well because they looked weird. But like I said, I have caught the sock bug a little bit and Socktoberfest seems like the perfect time to turn out some pairs.

I also heard about Sock Assassin recently which is actually how I found out about Socktober. Apparently this game is like regular assassin where you have to "kill" certain targets. In Sock Assassin you get a target and you have to start knitting them a pair of socks which you send to them when you are finished. Once they receive them, they are "dead" and send you their half-finished socks which you complete and then send to their target, "killing" them, and so on. The person holding the last half-finished pair of socks at the end is the winner?
I missed Sock Assassin this year but I am hoping to get in a lot of sock knitting practice this month as I fully intend to dominate next year.

So far my sock is looking good- the frustrating thing about knitting them one at a time is that you have to make another one, but I am looking forward to having two. I guess.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Ohmigosh I am so excited! I am going to make my first pair of socks! I am using the Shibui Sock in Dragonfly which I posted about a few days ago and already I know it is going to be a fantastic experience. It is a wonderful texture and the color is sublime. I am dubious about these toothpick like needles, but I think that's part of the fun?
So I'm all cast on, my ribbing is done and I am ready to make that heel flap. Happy Socktober y'all!