Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Surmount the Stash - January Round-up

It's no surprise that I don't have much progress to show for my first check-in of the year.

The only project I completed was Dave's hat, so I've only depleted the stash by a measly 162 yards.

I fully expected to have a lot more to report this month - a shawl, a coat, maybe even a pair of socks.

However - this sets me up for a really good February - right?

I have started on two "goals".

1) Knit a lace weight shawl - Aeolian in the Prism Tencel yarn from Knit Camp. Though very little progress has been made, at least it's started.

2) Knit four sweaters - The Lore Hoodie is soooooooo close to being finished. Maybe this weekend.

And, since I don't have any beautiful FO pics to show you....
Look a shiny kitty!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh poor blog, how I have forsaken thou...

By this time last year - I had 16 blog posts for the month. Today is the 30th... and this month I've blogged 9 times... wtf?

I really can't explain it. Maybe it's a combination of not much to blog about (too much work - too little knitting), coupled with the fact that my camera batteries are dying. Dave keeps promising to bring me home new ones - but he keeps forgetting. If I want to use the camera, I have to swap out the batteries from the DVD remote - then remember to put them back in so I can watch a movie.

The good news is, I am almost done my colleagues shawl - just 10 (long) rows to go! But no pictures, because of the above mentioned camera issue.

So instead, I'll distract you with a new colourway I came up with on Saturday.
I've called it "Hedgerow"

I did it on Alley Cat and Slinky - but it's hard to say if this batch will make it into the shop - Mom's been flashing it around Ravelry - and it sounds like most of the skeins are spoken for. But rest assured - I'll do more soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Still truckin'

I still seem lost in some weird time/space continuum- days are whipping by with out heed - though it's not quite as bad as last week.

Tonight, I refused to work late (I did so Monday and Tuesday...) and came home and promptly sat my butt in front of the TV and knit. I got a few more leaves done on my colleague's shawl.I know. I know. You're saying, "but you said you'd have this done on the weekend... how are you only this far???"

Well I might have been seduced by some butter-coloured alapaca silk over the weekend. The good news is - it's gotten to long for the needle it's on, and the only one I have that's long enough is the needle the shawl is on.

So, if I want to fool around with the alpaca silk - I've got to end it with the shawl first.... sigh... monogamy is so hard.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Will someone please tell me where my week went?

Because I'd really like to know.

Wait - I know where it went - I want a do-over!

Monday I worked from bed because my back decided it wanted a day off. Of course, that doesn't mean I can take a day off.

Tuesday I worked a 14 hour day helping a colleague get some last minute uber urgent work done.

Wednesday it was a 10 hour day. And Dave emailed me about the stone chip he got in his window that morning from a passing truck. Of course by the time he'd made the appointment to get it fixed and went down to his car to get something - the cold had cracked it all the way through. $300 later he's got a new windshield.

Thursday wasn't as long, but it was still more than the 7.5 hours I'm suppose to work. And then when I get home, my dishwasher decides to commit suicide. Fortunately, I stopped it before it lit the house on fire. Dave found the problem - a melty wire. But it's currently in pieces taking up half my counter space until Dave has time to fix it. Since he's working all weekend - I suspect that will be Monday at the earliest.

AND - I haven't knit a stitch all week.

However - there is an upside of the week. My boss told me that if I even tried to come into work Friday, he'd boot me right out the door. So, I decided not to waste the gas trying, and instead Dave and I slept in until 11. Then I headed up to Mom's for a little Mommy-Daughter day. We had lunch, did some shopping, then came home and bothered my Dad for the evening.

So now it's the weekend and Dave's working both days. And that means - if I can get my house work done in a timely manner - I have hours and hours to do nothing but knit (and finish my coworker's shawl)!

But before I head off to do just that - I do have one small FO to show you.It's for Dave but I had to model it because he refused. Last Friday he announced that he'd lost his hat(yet another). So I took some time out last weekend to whip this one up in some Tabby Cat Worsted, for just such an occasion. Nothing fancy - just a ribbed brim and stocknit crown.

I finished it on Sunday and he absconded with it before I was able to take picture - I only got it off him again last night.

Oh and other other reason I had to model to get a decent shot....There was now way I was getting one without the Rockster.......seriously. No way.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Brotherly love

I went upstairs to make the bed this morning and found this..."Hey...." says Rocky."I didn't say you could use my butt as a pillow..."
"And now she's taking embarrassing photos she's going to splash all over the internets.""That's it, I have to do something drastic to rectify this situation..."

And after that, it quickly degenerated into a full scale wrestling match.Boys will be boys....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

We interrupt this hoodie...

... for a very important knit.

I finshed the hood on Lore last night, so all I have left are the bands and finishing - but I've set it aside for now.

I have some very serious shawl knitting to do.
Yesterday, a coworker informed us that she's just been diagnosed with bone cancer. She start chemo next week, so I thought a shawl would be a nice way to keep her warm and let her know we are all thinking of her as she fights her battle.

She says they caught it early, and the doctors are very optimistic, so that's definitely a good thing - but still scary to go through.

I'm knitting this in some Dale of Norway Svale, which I liberated from Mom's stash last year. There wasn't enough of it to make a sweater, so this seems like the perfect use. It's a DK (so warm and quick!) cotton/silk/viscose blend. It's one of the splitty-est yarns I've ever worked with. But, the silk makes it so soft and gives it beautiful drape, so I'm willing to forgive it.

The pattern I'm using is Frozen Leaves. I want to get this to her by the end of the week, and I know this is a pattern that's not only beautiful - but is an easy knit for me (this is my fourth one...)

Oh - and it took until January 13 - but we finally got a significant snowfall.
Of course, it's suppose to warm up and rain by Monday, and wash this all away - but for now I'm enjoying it. From the warmth and comfort of my living room of course!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I love it when a knit comes together!

One of the great things about knitting a garment in one piece (besides no-to-minimal seaming, of course) is having something on your needles that actually looks like a garment.Yeah - that's the Lore hoodie. Just the hood and front bands left to go! Provided nothing catastrophic happens, I expect this baby will be off the needles by the end of the weekend.

That's of course.....
if someone will give it back.

In other fibre news - I stopped up at Mom's to do a little WCY business, and brought home a minor stash enhancement.Two skeins of Fluffy Cat Lite in Vampy (same colour as the hoodie) to knit Rock Island (once Aeolian is done, of course).
And a skein of Top Cat DK in Verdant. This one is for a new design.

And - neither of these count toward my "Surmount" because they are WCY! Both will be knit this year anyway.

And... if you'd like to do a little stash enhancement for yourselfWe've got a new yarn coming soon - Continental Cat - 100% superwash merino in a light fingering weight - with a whopping 750 yards per skein! I expect some of this will be in the shop by the end of the month, so watch for more details.

I've also heard rumours of a 100% silk base in the near future..... stay tuned!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

From one extreme to the other

You'll be pleased to know, both sleeves are now complete on the Lore hoodie. They've been set aside and are waiting to be added in when I start the yoke.

In the mean time, I decided to cast on for something new. The hoodie is all stocknit stitch from here on out, so I though I needed a project to spice things up every once in a while.

And what's spicier than lace-weight yarn and beads?Last night I cast on for Aeolian with the Prism Delicato mom bought for me at Knit Camp. And I had just the perfect "peacocky" beads to go with it.

"But, wait..." you say. "Didn't you already cast on for Aeolian months ago?"

Yeah I did - and it got set aside for Christmas knitting. When I picked it up again, I realized I'd royally screwed one of the transition charts. I could have tinked back 8-10 rows - but I figured new year, fresh start - and I can use that yarn (Slinky Cat) for something else... it's not like it goes bad right?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Full steam ahead...

For once, I am actually ahead of my goals on a knitting project.

As you might have guessed, the Lore hoodie is steaming right along, mostly thanks to super-chunky yarn and tension of 3 stitches/4 rows per inch!

I put the second lace half of the sleeve on the blocking board tonight, and since the first one was dry, I got a head start on knitting the upper half.As mentioned earlier, these sleeves are a serious modification. The pattern calls for slim half sleeves. But I've opted for a full-length bell sleeve. To accomplish that, I've knit the bottom half in fir cone lace to match the body.

Also, many other knitters have mentioned that the sleeves, as written in the pattern, tend towards the snug size. Some quick calculations determined it would likely be the case for me as well. And, since I plan to use this as a jacket instead of a cardigan, a little more room is always nice - so I added some increases to the upper portion - I should have an inch or so of extra room around my arm to accommodate whatever I'm wearing underneath it.

If this knit keeps going at this pace, I could be done far sooner than expected. Of course, that could all change when I get both sleeves and the body on the needles together. Knitting in one piece may make for less seaming, but it does make for a heavier knit in your lap!

And... just because he's old, but still cute

Monday, January 2, 2012

Starting the New Year off right

Dave has headed to the cottage for his annual 'boys' week' and I'm home enjoying my last day of vacation in peace.

Rocky is watching the snow fallIt's not a lot of snow, just a dusting, but considering it's January 2nd, and it's the first real snowfall we've had this winter - I'll take it.

It also gave me a reason to plop my butt on the couch and work on my 2012 knitting goals. And I've already hit a milestone - I cast off the skirt portion of my Lore hoodie!

And, if you've ever doubted the virtues of blocking, this pattern will make you a believer.Look! I knit a giant egg carton!
Ah... that's better.

The pattern is knit from the bottom up in one piece, and you're actually suppose to immediately begin the bodice after finishing the skirt, and block afterwards. I thought that would be too awkward - so I'm blocking first.

Also, this hoodie has 1/2 sleeves, but since I intend to use it more as a jacket than a cardigan - 1/2 sleeves are useless. I was planning on knitting straight sleeves, like a few others have done, but then I had the brilliant idea to use the fir cone lace for the bottom half of the sleeves as well - I'm working on that now. With a little perseverance, I could possibly have them on the blocking board by the weekend.

I'm on track to have this jacket knit by the end of January - and won't that be a great start to my knitting goals!