Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just an Update

It has been really busy here. The weather is changing very rapidly and I am, of course, up to my own tricks. I have taken on trying my hand at hand dyeing. I didn't mean to but it was this yarn here that lured me to the dark side. I just loved how it combined all the colors and yet, still was unique. This skein was done by a lady who lives here in Virginia and dyed up two lots. One was at her old home and this one, at her new home. Same lots, but completely different. One really dark. The next one, really light. Why? Different water. That got me to thinking. By changing just the one variable. How could I create something completely different by tweaking each one? What colors could I combine to express myself in a new form? It is like scrapbooking and knitting all rolled into one. I will post photos of my results when I have them. 

I finished the 'Vest'. I tried it on and DH immediately asked, "Did you make the small?" I didn't find that as humorous as he did. I did extend the ribbing to allow for more coverage along the bust, but obviously not enough for my own. Which is quite good because it isn't for me. I made this for my favorite aunt as a Christmas present. She will pretty much wear anything and I though this would look nice on her. Not that I did a bad job. I am pretty impressed with myself as I don't remember knitting much of it. It was the (I really do hate this word, but there lacks another to really establish how well it went) PERFECT project to do while listening to on-line lectures. By the third lecture, I was done. The pattern is by Plymouth Yarns. Though it called for Baby Alpaca Grande, that is too expensive for me to give away so I used Cascade 120 Le and a Trendsetter Flora as a carry along. It was a 1 to 1.5 ratio of heavy and foo foo yarn. It looks fantastic. (That means I purchased 4 Cascade and 6 Trendsetter.)

Here is my mum's Hemlock Ring Blanket. Right now it is on display. Luckily, out of the way of most grubby paws so I won't have to re-wash it to gift it. I liked it so much that I began a second one for myself with the leftover yarn and ordered a second skein to finish it. By the end of this holiday season, I will have complete 3 full Hemlocks. One for mum, one for grandma, and one for myself. I will probably be done knitting them for awhile. It has become the replacement of mindless knitting while listening to lectures. There are a boatload of stitches to knit for one round once you are on the chart. The Hemlock for grandma is being made from Encore Worsted. I hate that yarn, but she will inadvertently put it in the wash. At least this way when she does, she won't end up with a doily instead. You can find the pattern here.

Here is another Christmas gift that I have finished. It is another Brooklyn Tweed pattern, Habitat. I have linked it to the name, and was so excited to see it that I downloaded it first thing. It was challenging enough to keep you focused but easy enough to follow. If I wasn't already happily married, I would be in love with the man. He is so incredibly talented! I am thinking to give this one to my eldest. It looks trendy enough that he might wear it. The color would look fantastic on him. He has seen me knit it though, so I am unsure if I could give it as a Christmas present. 

I am half way through the German socks. One down for each of us. Though since they are not technically a pair, I can really see how people develop SSS. (Second Sock Syndrome.) 
For those non-knitterly friends who read this, SSS is a deadly disease that if not careful is the best knitters downfall. It begins with just one, but it grows, like mold, if left unchecked until you are so overtaken with it, there is no hope for recovery except by giving away all single socks to the Veterans Hospital to be dispersed to those with only one foot. This disease creeps into other areas of your knitting. First it is just one sock, then it is just one glove, next it is just one cuff, and then worse, just one sleeve. When it finally occurs to you that you have a problem, you reassess the situation only to discover- you haven't finished a single item in 5 years. 

The only way to prevent SSS is to IMMEDIATELY cast on that next sock as soon as you finish kitchnering the toe. I know it sounds so harsh, but trust me. It is the ONLY way. Don't put the sock on, don't photograph it. Cast on. Nothing else. Cast on. No potty breaks. Cast on. Trust me. Cast on. 

I have been stalking yarns that I like on Ravelry. To see what other colors have been made, ideas for what I can do with what I have, even inspiration on trying my hand at making my own colorways, when I ran across this. 
It is Misti Alpace Handpainted Worsted. Now, I have come to the conclusion that the term 'worsted' is really quite a subjective term. Typically it would mean that a yarn was a specific weight and that you could, theoretically, get 4-5 stitches per inch using a 7-9 US size needle. The problem I have is that this really isn't a worsted weight. It is MUCH thinner. It is more of a 'sock' weight. Which is what I used my first skeins of this brand for. And the socks that were done are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITEST PAIR!!! If I could wear them everyday, I would. Even in the summer. I LOVE THEM!!! So back to the story, lady on Ravelry is moving to Southern California. Don't need any wool there. Ever. I am such a lucky duck. I got ten skeins of it. WAHOO! I am so excited, I don't know what to do with myself except sit and pet it for a long time. Yea me. 

That is the latest news here. I really am trying to post more consistently, but the only consistent posting is the once a month promise to post more frequently. If I can just post twice more this year, than it is better than last year. Then next year, I can up my expectation of posting twice a month. Baby steps. 

Happy knitting.