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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh Halp! I Haz An Addiction

No seriously, I have a problem. I might need an intervention. See below.
This is sock yarn I have managed to amass in 3 months and at least 3 are not included in this photo. This does not include the stuff I bought earlier in my knitting foray. This is just since Rhinebeck. Sheesh. I guess there are worse things I could be addicted to in life.
Guess you might like to know what the goods are, huh? Ok starting at the back, the brown socks are my Dad's Flying Trapeze socks in Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted and the half finished sock is my Leyburns in Socks that Rock "Lettuce Knit". Front row left to right, Sheldridge Farm acquired in a trade, Socks that Rock "Puck's Mischief", tucked in btwn is Malabrigo sock in "Eggplant", Sophie's Toes in "Christmas Lights", Socks that Rock Mill End "Lover's Leap", Malabrigo sock in "Solis"(love that blue), Socks that Rock "Lenore", and the last skein of Shelridge Farm Supersock at the right. Not pictured: Wollmiese "Baba Jaga" , Zarzuela's Fibers Silky Sock Yarn in "DC Sunrise, and Knitivity Sock Yarn in "Rodentia".
This sock is partly to blame for the current sock fetish. Meet my Easter Egg Leyburns. This is quite possibly the most addictive pattern. I adore this sock. It's done in Socks that Rock lightweight in "Lettuce Knit", a mill end I snatched up at Rhinebeck.

I have also been spinning like crazy also. I briefly mentioned that I bought local Border Leicester fiber on Thanksgiving weekend. Well I did, in fact, spin and ply two of the balls. I was able to get a light fingering weight, 2-ply yarn out of just two of the balls. I still have more to go, plus the cream color. I think I would like to do a sheep to sweater-type of project and spin all the yarn. I was thinking of a cream and chocolate fair isle.
I also started spinning Zarzuela's Fibers "Stormy Dawn" in merino wool. I am going to finish spinning half of the braid and then trying to Navajo ply on the wheel. We are doing this as a KAL on the Ravelry page and then knitting it into a hat.

What else am I doing? Well, for one, I am traveling like mad right now. I went to Boston last week and then San Francisco and Iowa for this week. I come home Sunday and jump feet first into the next work week. Should be fun, no? Ok my jet lagged eyes are heavy. See you all later.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Keeping up with the New Year's Crafting Goals

I guess since it's already the THIRD of January 2009, that maybe I should share the last finished objects of 2008, huh? Ok, ok. I can bring it. Before I do that, I hope everyone had a great New Year. Thanks so much for your kind words on my last post.
So remember the secret project for my MIL for Christmas? Well, I guess maybe not so secret because I did have her pick out a pattern that she would like asked for her modification wishlist. Here is it!
This is my mother-in-law's Knit Cardi Victoria by Fashion Martina. It seems I am the first Raveler to do the pattern. I did find some errors that caused a little frogging on the sleeves, but i need to go back and do my math to be sure before I email the designer.
The yarn is Oswal Winter King, a sturdy, fairly soft pure wool that I purchased while in Ludhiana, Punjab, India visiting with friends. They were SO excited to take me to every wool mill in town. And boy, did I bring home a mother load of it too. It was so ridiculously affordable b/c the Rupee is so much less than the dollar. I would have spend 800 here for that much wool in the rainbow of colors I brought home. Luckily, I knew I would be doing a black duster coat at some point and it's nice when you pre-plan to have it in stash for occasions like this where it takes up a bit of yarn.

Started: November 2007
Finished: December 23, 2007
(includes a nice long wet and steam blocking)

Modifications: A few. Firstly, I chose the smaller collar option. There is one pattern for an enormous collar that is really not Mom's style. I also modified the flair sleeve cuffs in the pattern to a straight sleeve per her request.

All in all, it seems to fit her the way she would like and she should be warm when we go to these drafty restaurants!

Next up is the longest running UFO that has now been made into the last FO for 2008. Trust me, there was a lot of happy dancin' when this baby was done on 12/31/08 after it's long blocking. The pattern is Rogue by Girl From Auntie aka Jenna Wilson. The pattern is definitely of the more complicated I've ever done, but the pattern is expertly written.

So I cast-on for this in March 2007 (Oy almost 2 years ago!) and it was fresh off the blocking mats on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I didn't feel well on New Year's Day or yesterday to want to be out in the cold with just a sweater for a photo shoot. I had good sun today so we did some quickie photos out back next to my neighbor's garage.
The yarn is Noro Cash Iroha in a toxic, lovely, Irish countryside green. I can say that, it really does remind me of the color of the grass there. Unfortunately, my choice of yarn for the project was a bit of a failure for 2 reasons. First, the yarn pills like mad and, secondly, the thick/thin texture of the yarn interferes a little with the clarity of the cables. It is soft and very comfortable though. I'm a little disappointed in spending this much for the yarn two years back and realizing it really doesn't fit the bill now. If you are going to do this pattern, I recommend a yarn that has an even texture, at least 2 or 3-ply, and a little less halo bloom when blocked, like Cascade 220 or McTaggert Tweed. There is just a little too much halo and uneven texture with this yarn for intricate cables.

I do like the sweater though, it is not my best knit because of my yarn match with the project. Also, I don't care for my grafting job on the hood. It's passable, but not where I want it to be. I found it confusing to graft the cables with knits/purls together in the middle. I can live with it though.

The cable design are without a doubt, stunning. They are simply placed on the sweater to result in the maximum visual impact.
Another thing I've been meaning to show you are the the fruits of my husband's new hobby, wood turning. He has been nuts over lathes ever since I've known him and is a very talented craftsman. He bought himself a mini lathe before the holidays and this was his first project, a bowl for his mother. It's red mahogany. It came out really pretty.

As far as new year's crafting resolutions go, I did cast on for Alice Starmore's "St. Brigid" from the Aran Knitting book as well as a new sock. Say hello to Leyburn by MintyFresh. I adore this pattern. I joined the Leyburn KAL in the Socks that Rawk! Ravelry group and we are each doing the pattern in a different colorway of socks that rock. No sock will be the same. This colorway is "Lettuce Knit". So far I am in love with this sock....part of my new year's goals. Oh it's also my first toe-up sock!

Ok folks, back to my sock knitting. At some point, I will have more to show for myself with St. Brigid and show that to you. TTFN!