Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Slightly overwhelmed

As you can see from the left column, I've got quite a few projects on the needles. Six, in fact. For some knitters, this is standard operating procedure. For me, it's pandemonium which leads to dissatisfaction. It's not that I don't enjoy the process, because I certainly do, but of course, I also want to finish something on occasion. This weekend, I chose two of current projects to focus upon, and the others will just have to sit. My first instinct was to finish Something Red (and Yellow), but after finishing one sleeve, I've got less love for the red/yellow combination than before. I've joked with Sarah and Dean about it being a McD sweater, but it's starting to really take on that meaning for me. I know it's silly, and I will still finish it, but I'm not sure I'll actually wear it much for that reason.
So instead, I decided to focus on something that I know I will wear: the Frocking Pink Camisole. I worked on it for several hours this weekend, and I'm about nine inches into the body.

I'm loving this yarn/pattern. Dean said he thinks it will be the nicest thing I've knit thus far, and I'm inclined to agree with him. I'm into the fourth ball of yarn (out of seven), so I'm feeling pretty accomplished in terms of progress, which is exactly what I needed to feel. The other project I'm spending some time on is My So-Called Scarf. Even though I doubt I will gift it until Christmas, it moves quickly, and I know I can finish a beautiful FO.

It really is a lovely pattern, and so easy.
I feel better, having found a little focus. I've also been really naughty about buying yarn in the last month. Not that it's bad, but I really do have plenty of yarn to tide me over for quite some time. I want to at least finish a few items before another marathon month of stashing.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fruits of my labor

Sarah and I had an amazing dyeing weekend. Seriously. It did not disappoint, and I'm pretty sure we're both addicted. We each dyed two hanks of superwash sock yarn (purchased from Knitpicks), using two different methods and about 30 packets of koolaid.

We tried the jar striping method first. Here's my attempt. We wound the yarn into long hanks (using two chairs), tied in three spots (Sarah in four) and then dyed each section a different color. When Sarah dyed hers after mine, she was sure to move the undyed sections quickly, as the dye was absorbed more quickly than we expected. Hence the white spots near the top of the jars. I'm still not sure about this, and I may over-dye or pour some dye on these areas, but in the hank, it looks quite nice!

I'm calling this hank Secondary Spaghetti. Dean actually came up with the name. While the yarn was in the sink soaking, he said it looked like spaghetti, and mine is dyed with secondary colors, so there you go!
Sarah and I learned another important lesson with this method. Tie your yarn in many places, or else you will spend an hour and a half re-hanking it. Trust me on this.
For our second hanks, we went on another koolaid run, and decided to try hand-painting. We bought disposable containers, sat down at the table and went to town. After a few tries with a small paintbrush, I decided I wanted more coverage with each color, and started pouring away.

Here's the second batch soaking. Mmm. So many colors. I dubbed this skein "Don't drink the koolaid" for obvious reasons.

I'm very curious to see how it knits up.
She hasn't posted her results yet, but check Sarah's blog for more pictures soon.
In other fiber news, I'm about three inches into my Frock Camisole, and I started a pair of socks yesterday.

The yarn is Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color Weekend Colors in Ireland, and the pattern is the Slipped Stitch Rib Sock from Sensational Knitted Socks on size 1 needles.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Time to dye

Words cannot express my excitement. Sarah and I are finally dyeing yarn this weekend. We've been talking about it for months, but wanted to do it together, and we haven't been able to hang out since our New Mexico trip. She and Austin are coming down this weekend, and there will be dyeing. There will also be knitting, possible yarn shopping, eating, drinking, game playing and movie watching.
I have some lovely new stash enhancements to share:

I got two skeins of Malabrigo, in Peach Tree and Purple Mystery. Yarnzilla is having a fantastic sale on Malabrigo. I ALMOST bought enough for a sweater, but restrained myself.

I also bought this lace for a wedding shawl I'm making for Angela. We talked patterns, and I think she's settled on Juno Regina. Her wedding is in November, so it should be a lovely choice to keep her warm.
I also got a KnitPicks order in this week, and I've made a bit of progress on Something Red (and Yellow). I bound off the body, but I can't start on the sleeves without the proper needles. I decided to do them in either size 5 or 4 dpns, and Sarah is bringing me some this weekend, so I can at least start on them.
In the meantime, I started a new project, the Frock Camisole from Interweave, Spring 2008. It's my first Interweave project, and I'm knitting it in the suggested yarn, Cinnabar, which I bought at Yarntopia, an LYS, about a month ago.

I'm loving the yarn, and I'm hoping the stockinette goes quickly.
That's all for now. After my yarny weekend, I'm sure I'll have lots to talk about.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Swift action

So, Dean spontaneously bought two swifts last week: one for me, and one for Squarah's birthday, which isn't until July. I couldn't wait to start using mine; it makes winding yarn so much easier, and fun! I had to call Sarah to let her know, so she wouldn't impulsively buy one before her birthday.

I wound up my Araucania Nature Wool this morning, all four hanks.
Yesterday, before the wedding, I cast on for a My So Called Scarf, in my Queensland Collection Rustic Wool.

I've been wanting to use the yarn, since it was one of my first LYS purchases, and I'm really enjoying the project. It will be my portable project to take back and forth to work, and I'll probably give it a Christmas gift (since scarves aren't practical here for 11 months out of the year. Ah, Houston.
So, the wedding last night was really fun, and probably the best one I've ever attended. It was extravagant, but not in a disgusting way. The food was delicious, the weather was perfect and the bride was gorgeous.

Something looks off with my eyes, but as you can see, the bright dresses are actually quite flattering.

My hair looked totally rockin. It's still sort of curly today, and I'm loving it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Motivating forces

After finishing Square Cake for Terra, I felt revamped. While I enjoy knitting gifts, if I feel forced or pressured to finish something, my excitement for the project immediately ceases. I seamed the purse on Friday night, and immediately jumped back into Something Red.

It's really coming along. I'm another inch and a half past the yellow stripe now. I've probably got another inch and a half or two inches left now, and I've decided to do the remaining portion in yellow. I'm really embracing yellow, which is odd-I've never really cared for it in clothing for myself. The wedding is this weekend, but I'm hoping to start the sleeves before Monday. We'll see.

I've also started a sock for myself, using the Yarn Love Juliet yarn I got from Woolgirl about a month ago. I've cast on thrice for the sock, which I originally planned to do Charlotte Schurch's Slipped Stitch Rib pattern, but then, when I had to cast on fewer stitches, I switched to her Waffle Rib II pattern.

I've tried to convince myself that these are tight enough around the calves, but they're not. I will, for the third time, have to frog them. Luckily, this nice yarn can take a beating, so at least it's not a total waste. Plus, I'm getting pretty good at using the small needles (I'm using 2.5s). Also in that picture, you can see my second tattoo (the other is on the left ankle).

Here's a cute picture of Bella, just because.

Back to work!
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