Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mastering the Art of The Mirror Self-Portrait, or not

Last week ended up being a crazy week, a trip down to see my parents for something ended up lasting several extra days. It didn't mean that there wasn't any knitting, just that there was less knitting. I had fun anyway and managed to trick myself into catching the cold I thought I had managed to avoid. Darn germs.
Anyway, when I finally returned home, I had to get some things done and return the house to its former state, which is to say: Non-Feral Bachelor mode. I'm finally (mostly) caught up with things and so, I'm getting back to posting and finishing up a few things. First, I did manage to finish my Malabrigo socks. They have technically been "on the needles" for a long time, although one has been finished for quite awhile and I just put it away for awhile. I finally cast on the second and finished them up last week.

The Specs:
The Yarn: Malabrigo sock. I believe the color is called Persia although I lost the label quite awhile ago.
The Needles: US Size 1 DPNs
The Pattern: Just a basic sock, plain stockinette with a heel flap.
The Recipient: Are you kidding? Malabrigo? These are for ME!
The Notes: I love the colors of this yarn. Some people I've talked to have mentioned that they don't like this yarn because it seemed splitty. I had no problems with that at all.

Then, I pulled out the Trekking socks I had been working on just before the Malabrigo socks. I thought I had finished them but somehow managed to miss a couple of ends that needed to be woven in and my rule is: They aren't finished until the ends are woven.
So here they are in their blog debut:

The Specs:
The Yarn: Trekking XXL. I have no idea the color. The label has gone the way of the dodo.
The Needles: US Size 1 DPNs
The Pattern: A Basic sock in a 3x1 Rib.
The Recipient: Me, I need a few pairs of basic, go with almost everything socks.
The Notes: The idea behind buying this Trekking was making basic socks that go with everything. While that was a wonderful plan, knitting these socks nearly put me off sock-knitting. That might partly be because I knit them while the world outside was roughly the same color as the yarn. And, although I haven't had this problem with any other Trekking I have used (and I have knit several pairs of socks from Trekking) I found many knots in this ball. If I had purchased it recently, I would maybe have considered bringing it back and exchanging it but it had rested in my stash for several years.

Since I've done so well with finishing things, I let myself cast on a couple of new things. First, a hideous pair of socks I'm knitting for my husband. I know he loves Blue but I just couldn't stand the thought of knitting a solid blue pair of socks for him so I bought another ball of a colorful yarn I thought would be manly enough and match. It doesn't really match, but I'm ignoring that. So should you.

They are coming along though.

I started another pair of socks but they are hiding in my purse and I don't have the energy to go pull them out and take photos right now so you will just have to wait.

Finally, remember when I broke down and ordered from Gritty Knits? I got a beautiful braid of Merino/Tencel Roving called Cabbage Patch.

It was so pretty that I couldn't wait to start spinning it and as a matter of fact, I barely stopped long enough to take a picture.
I spun it into singles and Navajo-plied it to keep the colors together.

I was so in love with the yarn, I wanted to knit it like crazy and couldn't decide what to do with it.

Finally, a knitting friend suggested Baktus I thought about it for about 20 minutes and then cast on. Well...

It came out beautifully but I still wasn't sure. It wasn't until some ladies at knit night suggested Severe! blocking that I decided to try it.

I wove in the ends and called it done. I love it and have worn it out in public several times already. Of course I attempted to take a self-portrait in the mirror so you could see how it looks on but none of the pictures came out. They were AWFUL as a matter of fact. Oh well, use your imagination.

Tonight is Crochet Night so I will probably get back into my Christmas Projects. Yes, you read that right, I have started my Christmas Knitting/Crocheting already. Don't look at me like that. More on that later.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Freeing up the Needles

Despite my Startitis of late, I've been trying desperately to keep myself on task and actually finish a few things before starting new ones. Some days its a struggle because I don't want to work on current projects but some days its just fine and I work along on something easily.

Since today is Tuesday (and I have Open Crochet Night this evening) I will focus on the Crochet first. For months I have had a little doily finished that I intended to put on my desk. All it needed was two measly ends woven in and to be blocked. For some reason, I just couldn't seem to bring myself to do it.
Finally, I broke down and finished it. You know something? It feels pretty good.

Pattern: Filet Crochet Doily from Beginner's Guide to Filet Crochet
Yarn: DMC Traditions Crochet Cotton, Size 10, one skein 5818 Pink
Hook: 1.75mm
Recipient: Me, for my desk in my home office.
Notes: I found this pattern very easy to follow. It is cast on at the side and crocheted across to the other side, making long rows but fewer of them.

Inspired by the fact that I finally finished it, I managed to finish another project as well. One that has been in my sights pretty much as soon as I touched it:

I apologize for the bad picture, its very grey outside here today and I couldn't seem to find decent light for these to save my life.
Regardless, here we go:

The Pattern: Feather & Fan Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks with a modified pattern repeat.
The Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock, handdyed by me with Easter Egg dye.
The Needles: US Size 2 (2.75 mm)
The Recipient: Since this yarn is pretty special to me and they fit me perfectly, hmm. Me!
Notes: I would only like to note that with these socks, it was pretty special because I had dyed the yarn myself and had so much fun doing it.

Well, there you have it, two more projects out of the running, now maybe I will have more focus to apply to other projects. Although, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sunshine and Spinning make everything better

I keep meaning to post, I've actually been doing quite a bit of knitting but I never seem to get to it. It's really sad actually.
The Busy keeps catching me and I get involved in like 12 other things and don't get back to my poor, sad little blog.

I have to say though, everything is better when my view looks like this:

Ahhh, just seeing the picture makes me feel better.
I've been promising some picture of the yarn I've been having ever so much fun dyeing and finally, I'm going to deliver, since I finally just updated my ravelry project page and I'm too exhausted (mentally) from doing that to organize my thoughts here as well.
First, I dyed some Blueish Monochromatic yarn but I unhappy with the blue, it was very denimy and not rich like I imagined so I added some purple and dyed it again. I ended up with this:

I think its beautiful and subtle and I can't wait to find just the right pattern to knit with it.

Then, I decided to dye some yarn in rainbow colors since a friend from spinning guild has these very cute socks that are 2 rounds of white and 2 rounds of a rich jewel-toned rainbow color all the way down the socks. I sat next to her and couldn't stop thinking about them at all. I ended up with much brighter colors but I still think (once I start them) they will be beautiful.
The top of the skein:

The bottom of the skein:

The unwound skein:

I laid the yarn out just like shown here on plastic wrap and painted the colors onto it. Then I wrapped it tightly in the plastic wrap and put it in a microwave-safe dish folded in half with the yellow portion up on a little bowl to keep the colors from bleeding into the yellow too much. It turned out beautifully. I can't wait to start the socks but I have promised myself that I will finish a few projects first.

Finally, I wanted something nice and bright and springy so I picked out some yellow (which I wanted to be somewhat faded, it isn't at all though) and some tealy green and purple. I painted it onto the skein similarly to the rainbow yarn and came out with this:

I was so excited, I couldn't even stop myself from casting it on and ended up with these:

Its striping beautifully and I'm so excited to have such beautiful, bright socks for spring.