It has been since I last bought yarn!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned

I suppose Christmas is all about excess. We spend too much and we eat too much. I've just had the Christmas equivelent in knitting, I bought and spent too much... and I don't even feel bad. It would be truthful to say that I'm "OFF" the yarn diet in a big way.

This would be a tale of caution about what happens when you go Boxing Day shopping at yarn stores!

(I just bought that- as if I didn't have enough already)

Most folks hit the stores hard the day after Christmas, searching out deals and feeling the crushing blow of paying full price not two days before on the same item. MiL and I decided to forego the mall, and instead hit the yarn stores, which we discovered last year was much more fun. We were ready this year. We planned. I researched what I wanted to make. I allowed for two sweaters worth of yarn and said that self striping sock yarn was absolutely an allowable purchase. (I will admit that I spent all day at work on the 24th researching yarn substitutes for the sweaters so that I was really, REALLY prepared.) I suppose I wouldn't lie if I told you I did a little pre-yarn store stretching and practising with the elbows... thankfully I didn't need 'em. {PS- doing this research on Ravelry, again reminds me just how freakin' awesome that website is! SIGN UP NOW!!}

We started out early on the 26th, lining up 15 minutes before the store opened, (with about 20 or so other die-hard yarn fanatics-- FRAN the ENABLER-- where were you!?), sipping our Bailey's and coffee, provided by the lovely folks at Make 1 Yarn Studio. Once the doors open, it was a free for all, as we basically burst through the doors and headed straight for the sale table.

MiL found a Rowan book she wanted for 70% off, and I hit the mother of all self-striping sock sales-- a bag of 6 skeins, (1 pair of socks/skein regularly $16) for $50! FIFTY BUCKS. I swiped that puppy pretty quick. I showed the MiL and she agreed to split it with me-- we were both smiling like bandits. (And feeling like them too- STEAL of a DEAL.) I left with the sock yarn, mother in law scored some other sock yarn also and bought two books.

(Bag 'O Gloriously Cheap Sock Yarn)

Riding high on yarn sale euphoria, we headed over to Knit One Chat Too, to continue the deals. All the way over to Knit One, we kept complimenting each other on our incredible restraint. The sales were good, but we knew we had to sustain through another day of saling, so we had to stick to our pre-prepared lists and plans. Knit One didn't have the same atmosphere of Yarn hoarding that Make 1 did, (and I will admit I'm rather partial to Make 1), but that didn't exactly stop us from grabbing another skein of self striping sock yarn. (I have an addiction. I need help.)

(Jen's stash enhancement Day 1: Sock yarn purchase

(Day 1: Phyllis's newly acquired sock yarn stash)

THE NEXT DAY we were back in business again, as MiL showed up 20 minutes to 10, and we walked over to take advantage of Pudding Yarn's sale. Um- the whole "let's be restrained" thing kind of fell off the rails at this point. MiL started it off with picking out some "birthday sock yarn" for me. Birthday yarn has become somewhat of a tradition on our Boxing Day saling, as my birthday is in January, she usually gives me a little early present. (It's also to prevent the husband from yelling about the excess of yarn I always come home with.) Once we had Birthday yarn in hand, it was like our desperation to really splurge on yarn took hold. MiL picked up some sock yarn for herself, (I've created a monster), as well as some, how do I say this, not so cheap, Debbie Bliss for a beautiful sweater she plans to make for herself.

I fared pretty well too. I managed to pick up some great varigated yarn for Wicked, which I'm hoping to make in January this year- and at the last minute MiL found me the perfect yarn to make the Rebecca Jacket I've been coveting for the last 6 months, and after some tense store searching, I was able to get enough to make it. I ended up spending $100 at Pudding, which is pretty good considering how much yarn I left with. 20% off tends to add up!

(Jen's Stash Day 2- "The Pudding Incident")

(Day 2: Phyllis's "Pudding Incident")

The less said about the service at Pudding today, the better. Needless to say, while the women were nice, they were very clueless and there were a lot of annoyed individuals in the line, waiting and waiting and waiting.... if you're going to have a big sale, you want to be sure to have people who KNOW HOW TO USE THE TILL and KNOW WHERE THE YARN IS, helping you- not individuals who were there today, clueless on both fronts. (I know it's mean, but it's honest- there are other women who I'm sure would agree with me there.)

We had also planned to head over to Gina Brown's big sale, but honestly, after spending so much time waiting-- and spending so much... period, we were, pardon the pun, "spent". Both MiL felt like we got some amazing deals today- and I'm pretty much set yarn wise now for the rest of the year. Which I suppose means it's time to announce the New Years resolution of "Stash Management". I'm hoping to resist buying anything until SEPTEMBER- with the exception of baby blanket yarn, (which is cheap and needed), to work off the stash that has accumulated. I've got enough right now that I don't want to let it get out of control. I don't want to end up like this lady!!

So yes. There's been a little stash acquisition- but I'm hoping that will also bring more completed projects in the new year. I suppose I've rambled on long enough-- and will save the Christmas knitting loot story for another day. I'm not going to allow myself to touch the new and exciting yarn until the Old, and EXTREMELY MONOTONOUS baby blanket is close to finished. *sigh* I need to plug away on that puppy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma P

I really had the best intentions. I made socks for Grandma J in August and I produced socks at break neck speeds for Grandpa J in November, but then I just hit a bump in the road and, let's just say the progress has been less than stellar.

The bump in the road's name is Christmas. This "Christmas" character is demanding a lot more of my time than I have right now, and everytime I think to myself, "lets sit down and knit these puppies", Christmas rears it's ugly little head and diverts my attention elsewhere.

Christmas is the stupid reason I've been in the mall for countless hours trying unsuccessfully to find gifts that are "just right". (Unnecessary pressure I put on myself, I know.) Christmas has also forced me do more baking, and olympic level freezer manipulation to fit in all the baking. (I'm sure you know a thing or two about that.) Also- it seems that this Christmas character also wants me to go to parties and out for lunches and well... it just seems to suck up a lot of my time that I normally commit to knitting.

And so- your socks have suffered. I wish I could post at least one sock, as a bastien of hope that they will get finished, but sadly, it just doesn't look that good on the sock front.

Yup. That's the progress so far. Not even divine intervention can save me at this point. (I'd be terrible at Sock Wars. {read that article- so cool that knitters are making the Wall Street Journal!})

Don't get me wrong. I WILL finish them- just not before Christmas, and well, honestly, probably not until we're well in the New Year. However, I know you're patient lady and you wouldn't want me to have any unecessary stress, so I'm just not going to sweat it. (Or at least TRY to not sweat it, if you only knew what a compulsive obsesser I am ...) Anyways- what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry- I've fallen victim to the knitter's worst enemy at Christmas, TIME. (In fact, what a lovely gift that would make- Dear Santa, I'd like more TIME please.)

I suppose it's very dramatic of me now to swear on a stack of bibles that I will learn from this story, and next year begin the Christmas knitting when time is ample and reasonable. But let's be honest, we all know what this blog will be saying a year from now.... I need more time to knit {blank} for Christmas!!!

I do hope you'll forgive.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Socks for Grandpa!

I did it! I did it! I finished the socks on Saturday morning-- just a little over the deadline. Grandpa's getting his socks for christmas!

Pattern: King Charles Brocade, from More Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Kogiu (slobber)
Needles: US size 1
Thoughts: My issues with these socks are well documented- this wasn't exactly an easy time. The pattern itself is not hard to follow, but you do need to pay attention, so it's not bland tv knitting. Had I known I was going to need to more than two skeins of yarn, I would have sucked it up earlier and made the leg longer- which is the reason why I'm not 100% satisfied, so I hope Grandpa won't be disappointed. The yarn looks bluer in the picture, but they're actually a darker grey- and the pattern shows up nicely on them.

I hope they fit grandpa's feet- they are just a touch short on the husband's feet- but I did that intentionally, thinking grandpa's feet might be smaller. (If not, I guess Grandma gets two pairs of socks!)

Viola... the husband's leg....

So next up- the mad dash to knit a pair of socks for my other grandma, aptly named, "Anna's Socks" (her name is also Anna). That Cherry Tree Hill I bought in October is burning a hole in my stash and the yarn reminds me of her. So- back to frantic knitting!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good News, Bad News

Good News! Grandpa's socks are seeing some progress! I've got one sock done in 5 days, (I finished yesterday)- good progress for a girl who was starting to think this project was cursed to sit in an unfinished project pile, simply because I could not BEAR to rip them back one more time. Hopefully sock #2 will go even faster- given that I've sussed out the major problems in #1.

**Sharp eyes will note that this sock picture iside out. I did this on PURPOSE, so that the full awesomeness of the pattern will not be revealed until BOTH socks are ready for their close ups!** (I need something to keep you coming back... )

Bad News... I had to dip into the second skein to finish the 1st sock. That means I'm going to have to buy another skein to finish the 2nd sock. What kills me is that I only needed 16 rows worth of yarn on the toes to finish-- which is barely anything, meaning I'm going to have a lot of leftovers. (Although truthfully- I may have a plan for the leftovers already so all may not be lost.) I'd hate to see good Koigu (*slobber*) go to waste.

I'm still hoping to finish these by next week and to eek out a pair for grandma- keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

D'Nile Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Pardon the huge cliché here, but it can’t be helped- I’ve just come out of a very deep state of denial, and I’m suffering for it.

Grandpa’s sock- despite the SERIOUS progress I made on the foot, (non-knitters, that means I’m essentially done the damn thing), will need to be ripped back to square 1, or in this case, the first cast on stitch. *SIGH*

How did I get this far along on the thing to only be turned back now?


I cast on 72 stitches on a US size 2 needle, (Canadian knitters will have to forgive me as I haven’t converted yet), throughout the leg portion of the sock I had concerns that the sock might be a touch large- but I soldiered on. I kept telling myself, “you’re a skinny girl- but grandpa’s legs are bigger and it’ll fit his legs”- and I just knit and knit and knit and knit. Perhaps I was blinded by the glare of finishing these in a timely fashion, or just wanted to move on to another project, but I didn’t stop.


The husband came home from work late last night, sat down on the couch and noticed what I was knitting and asked immediately, “are those for a giant?”. *sigh* Now before we start railing on the husband’s insensitivity I’ve stated here before, I’d much rather have him take interest in what I’m doing and look at it with a critical eye than say “that’s nice” and not really care about what I’m making. However, with this preference also comes the honest truth, something I wasn’t willing to admit to myself.

He’s right. They’re too big. I could not deny and make up excuses any longer. But with this painful conclusion also comes the even more painful solution- FROG it. Rip it back to the start, drop the needle size, (I’m thinking US size 0- will I regret?), and go again. *SIGH*

I probably wouldn’t have cared so much if these weren’t for my grandpa, maybe even kept them for myself in their slouchy, oversize, or donated them to charity- but there are two reasons I can’t.

1) It’s Koigu (*slobber)- and as lovely and wonderful as Koigu (slobber) is, it ain’t cheap, I’m committed to making some nice socks from this stuff- and I need to follow through.

2) These socks are being made for the one person who was in his own state of denial when I learned how to knit. I don’t think Grandpa really believed that knitting would become what is HAS become to me. I think he thought I’d pick up the needles, do it for an afternoon and never go back. That didn’t happen, instead I became obsessed- and to this day I don’t think he really believes it. These socks, for him and me, are proof that I can see things through to the finish, and not only that, get a lot better along the way. They need to be perfect. They need to fit.

Which is why I need to go back to the very beginning.

I have eleven days to knit a pair of socks. CAN I DO IT? (Even with a full time job) You bet I’m going to try.

Stay tuned

Here's the sock before... 75% completed!

Sigh... so it begins-- I ripped the needles out. (PAIN!!!!)

And then begins the frogging...

The after... all that pretty sock, back on the swift... AGAIN

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Knitting Countdown

You know, it's not like Christmas shows up randomly every year and we find ourselves going "GEE I totally didn't see that coming". Christmas has come every year, during my exsistence, on December 24th and 25th. And yet, despite these very consistent dates, I seem to have the yearly "I need to knit this by Christmas" panic attack right around the end of November, when time is limited.

Since I made my grandmother socks this summer- I decided, last minute of course, that it would be nice to make a pair for my grandfather and my other grandmother as well. (Grandmother (#2)'s planned pattern can be seen here... hoepfully.)

And so, with the husband's blessing I set out to the yarn shop to buy some "manly yarn" to set to work on grandpa's socks- but I hit a little snag.

I got this far on the orginal idea:

... only to discover that they were just too baggy and big and would never fit anyone's leg properly. I don't know why I was in denial that long, that I got THAT far on the sock, but I was forced to do this:

... frog (fr - og; the art of ripping back your work and watching all the stitches that consumed hours of your life disappear like they never happened.) Froggy is hard not in practice, but mentally admiting your defeat.

Once I wound the skein up again:

I set forth knitting a smaller pattern and what do you know... I finally made some progress! Behold, grandpa's sock... in progress!

The goal is to get this puppy done by the end of the week and cast on sock #2. If I can finish knitting grandpa's socks BEFORE December, I have 15 days to knit my ass off for grandma. (I don't know how grandma would take to the concept of me knitting my "ass" off for her-- I hope she doesn't mind.)

As if that wasn't distracting and consuming me enough- I also hit a major snag with the baby blanket that I'm all but neglecting right now.

Yup! That's a knot. We know how I feel about knots. Much cursing and wailing was involved. Thankfully 1 visit from the very patient MiL, and she sat, PATIENTLY, (so unlike me), helping me wind out of this miserable mess and back to 100% useable yarn again. I SO owe you Phyllis!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tilted Duster DUSTED!

The Tilted Duster is done! DONE!

I LOVE it!!

Pattern: Tilted Duster from the fall issue of Interweave Knits!

Yarn: Cascade Eco Plus

Needles: US size 10 (6 mm for you Canadians)

Pattern Thoughts: This was a pretty good pattern to knit- always keeping it remotely interesting. The top portions and sleeves knit up so quickly but then you really needed to commit some time to knitting to churn out the bottom. The yarn blocked BEAUTIFULLY- I could not have been happier. You do need something to block well so that the bottom will lie flat.

I wore the "duster" to work yesterday- to show off my latest creation and I was thrilled with the response. Several people complimented me on it- without even knowing I'd knit it. This is the first sweater I've knit that I'm 100% confident wearing and really proud of the final product. It's warm and cozy and the yarn does tend to get a little scratchy when I wear it. (But nothing I can't handle.)

My only complaint about the Duster, and something to keep in mind if I ever knit it again- I'd knit a size bigger sleeves. They fit very snugly and well- but I can't wear a long sleeve shirt under it comfortably. (It can be done, but not seamlessly.) But, it's a small complaint because in general, I love the way it fits, giving the illusion of a slim waitline. Have I said I love the sweater enough yet? Because I do- so much!

In other news- here's a sneak peek at the newest baby blanket I'm making for a baby due in January. I'm not convinced on the color choice- I'll be honest, but MiL assures me it's cute. I'm hoping that it's suitabl for a boy or a girl-- but I still feel like I need some convincing. Hopefully as progress is made I will become more convinced.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So Many Things- So Little Time

OMG y'all! Have you seen the winter preview for Interweave?

Okay... I'll give you a second to go check it out and then come back here....

SO MANY NICE PATTERNS. So many projects I already want to tackle! You're killing me Interweave! When am I supposed to find the time to knit all those when I hardly have the time to knit my current projects!?


Way to bring your A game to the magazine Eunny! (Way to also try and KILL me)

PS- Thank God I subscribed before this!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Have You Updated Your Knit Blog Lately?

"Have you updated your knit blog lately?” My mom asked me this on Saturday. You know it’s bad when your mother is going “HEY- POST ALREADY!”

Dear Knit Blog,

No I have not abandoned you. I have not forgotten about you, nor have I decided to cease writing in you. The problem does not in fact lie in my own laziness, (for a change), but in my knitting itself.

Oh- I have things on the needles- lots of things! SO. MANY. THINGS. None of which are finished. My ability to progress has slowed dramatically. There is only one culprit in all of this- only one finger of blame to point at- the JOB, gentle readers, has got to go.

I used to churn out FO’s (finished object’s for those not in the know) like the Amish churn out butter. (I am of course assuming that Amish churn out a lot of butter… if they don’t, please pardon my really horrible analogy here and just assume that I used to get a lot of knitting done.) Baby blankets? Only took me a month. Sweaters? A week. Socks? Got done quickly. (So quickly that I felt the need to hoard sock yarn to keep up with the demand. {Did you see how I just enabled myself there, making excuses for my yarn stash?}) The blog was a showcase for my hall of fame finishes- a place to say “Look at me- I’m AWESOME!”.

All of this was possible thanks to the US Government, who said I couldn’t work in their country. And so, I knit. A lot. Like maybe something close to 4 hours a day on average. I’ll leave the Amish alone on this one because I’m sure we’ll all agree that’s a lot of knitting. When one has time to knit- one can really churn out FO’s. It also provides one with a lot of time to ponder knitting and well- you saw a lot of that on the blog.

And then- of course, we moved back to Canada, where the Government said “come and work so that we can take half of what you make in taxes!” And really- who can resist an offer like that? [sarcasm is my friend] So I got a job- and while it’s a pretty good job, and a pleasant place to be, it really kills the knitting time. I do squeeze in a little knitting here and there on the weekdays- but it’s mostly on the weekend where I can go back to my friendly “ass groove” on the couch and really “commune with my needles.” Except even then, it’s hard to commit as much time as I used to. And trust me, even though right now I’m still in a fairly good stage of “like” with the job, I have my moments where I literally long and ache to go back to spending a whole day knitting. However thus is life and I will accept that which I cannot change.

So little blog, that’s why the updates are coming a little slower these days- there’s just less to talk about since so much less of my life is devoted to knitting.

Hmm? Pardon? What did you say? OH- “SHUT IT AND SHOW US SOME KNITTING CONTENT!!?”—okay then…

Viola- I give you U(un)FO’s in various states of completion!
(Oh yes- there is some seriously blocking to be done!!)
(I'm doing a short row heel- I'm not going to lie, I'm not in love with it. I think I'll stick to heel flaps for now.)
(Look it's a sock in progress! I actually find myself wanting to knit this one more than anything else right now because it's SO. PRETTY- but I still have to leave it for traveling knitting only. *sigh*)

PS- My lack of blog posts may also have something to do with the copious amounts of time I now spend on Ravely, looking, looking and more looking, followed by some looking with a side order of looking. That site is knitters crack! (And also the salt in my knitting wounds since I see a new project everyday that I also want to tackle.)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fran the Enabler

I've had a falling down of sorts. I don't suppose I was on any actualy yarn diet, but I do have enough sitting in the stash that it didn't warrant a yarn purchase. And yet- here is the stash's latest... Cherry Tree Hill's sock yarn in Spring Frost.

The last post I went on and on about having no time to knit, then Thursday I got to my argyle sock class and this yarn practically jumped off the shelf into my arms from the moment I walked in. See- I actually almost bought this yarn 8 months ago. It was after the first Cherry Tree Hill socks I ever knit and I was absolutely enamored with the yarn. After doing a little ebay shopping I found the Spring Frost color and heavily debated buying it. I was sidetracked by a negative ebay online knitting purchase however and never did buy it.

Enter Thursday and I walked over to the yarn display and there it was. I knew it was "spring frost" before I even looked at the label. It was beautiful. Simply beautiful. I picked it up and said "oh look it's spring frost"- which I think kind of freaked out the yarn shoppers who were like "who is this weird person who knows the names of yarns by sight only?" The colors were beautiful and I immediately thought to myself... "self, this is too coincidental to let pass by."

Except I did. I restrained. I sat down, away from the yarn and focused on knitting my sock. Only... I also sat next to Fran in my class. Fran who saw me pick up the yarn and covet. Fran who watched me put the yarn back like a good little knitter who already has a monster stash. Fran who watched my eyes move over to the sock yarn even while I was supposed to be paying attention and knitting in my class. And that's when Fran started... "you should buy that yarn"... "you really owe it to yourself to buy that yarn"... "you need to celebrate your first pay cheque with that yarn"... "you were meant for that sock yarn".... "take it home.... take it home... oh look, I'll bring it over to you!"

And that's when I crumbled. I could resist purchasing the yarn when it was a fair distance from me, but when Fran, the ENABLER, brought the yarn that I covet for one "final" inspection, she knew what she was doing. I could not restrain any longer... helpless in the face of the pretty, pretty yarn, I caved and bought it.

Fran, for all intensive purposes is a pretty nice woman- funny, obsessed knitter, what's not to like, but I'm going to have to watch out for her... she knows my weaknesses and she doesn't respect my budget. (In the interest of full disclosure Fran also left with yarn which she found while picking up my "spring frost" yarn- so I suppose technically my obsession enabled her... but I digress.) I have one class left... and there was some other stuff I really liked in the store, if Fran enables me again, I'm going to have to take her home with me so she can explain the yarn purchases to the husband!

Monday, September 24, 2007

No Time to Knit

*sigh* the title says it all- I’ve had no time to knit. Since the start of my brand new shiny job, there’s been very little time to pull out the needles and devote 5 hours straight to creating stitch after stitch like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, the new job is good, but I’m also going through serious withrdrawl for the time I used to spend on my knitting.

I hate how unproductive I’ve been vs. how productive I want to be. I have three projects on the go and an impeding baby blanket that I need to hurry up and start not to mention the Sunday Hat project which I’ve, *gasp* neglected for two weeks in a row!

Here’s the breakdown:

Un-Finished Object (UFO) #1- The Tilted Duster

*sigh* (again!) I was so excited about this project. I didn’t just look at yarn, I LABORED over what yarn to order, comparing and contrasting the finer points of each one. I jumped into it wholeheartedly- and then came the time to sew up the seams. Since the seaming delay, and being stalled to block the fronts and backs to continue on with the lower part, I haven’t touched the sweater. At all. I’ve looked at it longingly, SEVERAL times, even wound balls to pick up and knit the stitches, but then something always comes up and I can’t work on the thing. If I can make some time on UFO #2, then I can devote some quality duster time this weekend, but again, that’s probably going to prevent me from working on the hats. (I have to keep reminding myself that I planned on knitting ONE hat a week, and the fact that I’ve averaged 2 hats per week, I’ve built up some good will on the hat front.)

The sick thing is that I had hoped to finish this sweater quickly, enabling me to wear it around during the rather “crisp” Calgary fall weather we’re having. At the rate I’m going, and with other projects trying to fight their way out of the que, I’ll be lucky if I get this sweater done NEXT fall.

UFO #2- The Argyle Sock

I went to my first argyle sock class this last Thursday and it was awesome. I always enjoy surrounding myself with “knitters”- people who “speak” my language and understand the compulsion that comes over me when surrounded by a room full of yarn. I nearly cried with joy when the yarn shop owner told me to pick out my 3 skeins for project. What’s sad, is that I totally knew BEFORE HAND that I had to pick out my three skeins of yarn, and even though it was totally expected, being told to pick out three colors and use them for some reason made me endlessly happy.

Anyways the sock is rather interesting, if not a little complicated, (oh the ends I’ll be weaving in!), but it’s a nice change in the socks that I have been knitting. I have, for the longest time, wanted to have someone walk me through the whole “intarsia” thing since I’m worried I’m not doing it correctly. The nasty thing about this little project is that I need to get a certain amount done before my classes. While the instructor was adamant that homework wasn’t necessary, in order to keep up, I need to get through at least one pattern repeat, if not TWO before the next class if I want to be sure to learn all the techniques that she’s offering. This basically means that UFO #1 and certainly the baby hat projects need to go on hold until visable progress is made on the new sock.

UFO #3- The Whisper Lace Socks

I couldn’t help it. This yarn was just sitting there, calling to me- begging me to knit it and make it into something pretty. (I am helpless in the arms of pink Koigu.) Realistically I couldn’t take the sweater on the plane ride to San Francisco, (um… yeah… I went to SF this weekend… did I not mention that?), it was just too big and the argyle sock was just too finicky to work on the plane. BUT, I wanted to knit something. It has been so long since I’d knit (seriously a week and a half), I just wanted the joy of seeing something that I’ve worked on come to life. And so, last minute, 5 minutes before I’m supposed to leave for work, I’m winding the Koigu at break neck speeds so that I can take it with me on my plane ride. (I ended up being late, apparently winding yarn at break neck speeds means you are destined to screw it up and spend twice as long.)

I made fairly decent progress on the cuff while waiting for my flight- but progress was delayed ON the flight thanks to the worst turbulence ever. (I have never been on such a rough flight and I’ve flown A LOT.) Thank god I had my knitting which did keep me somewhat calm, but as the turbulence got worse, (and worse still!), my ability to knit and clutch the seat in supreme panic lessened. I eventually had to put the knitting away, and haven’t touched it since.

On the upside, a) I survived the flight, despite thoughts to the contrary and b) I finally got to tackle a picot edging, which is both cute and interesting to knit. Sadly this little project will be filed in the “low priority” que until the argyles and duster get some attention. On the upside it’s in my “portable project” bag, meaning if I take my knitting out of the house, (I usually bring it to work, not that I’ve EVER worked on it), that’s the one that travels best.

All that and I haven’t even addressed the projects that SHOULD be on my needles, but aren’t. It seems my lull in need for baby blankets is over as new friends have announced an impending arrival, bringing the need up to 2. I have patterns, hell, I even have the yarn, I just don’t have the TIME to start these up. One baby is due in January and the new baby is due in March… I’m certain there will be a rush in baby announcements in the next few weeks because that’s apparently how it goes. My goal is to have a blanket on the needles, (not finished mind you), by the end of this month. I know what it’s like to have a rush on blankets and I have long maintained that this time I will be prepared! (Although I will admit that I’m thinking of doing the same pattern for both since they’re fast… how lame does that make me?!)

Trying to figure out a new way to squeeze in as much knitting time as I can is going to be a difficult challenge for me. (I also need to squeeze in the gym at some point too!) Geez, squeezing in enough time to WRITE THIS BLOG ENTRY has been a challenge- please bear with me… I haven’t stopped or given up, I’m just looking for any spare time I can find!

Anyone want to pay me my salary now to knit all day? Because that would be awesome.

*sigh* back to work for me!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Don't "DO" Patience

Some pretty pink hats for hat Sunday! One is plain and boring and the other is a very cute little basket weave. I've been rather lazy on the whole "creative hat" thing as of late... perhaps I'm losing a little of the "steam" I once had for such an addictive little project.

The Tilted Duster is at a standstill... and I can hardly stand it. I moved along on the fronts/back and sleeves quickly, but now I can't really go further, until I can block the fronts and backs at least. Viola... I call this "Duster in Pieces"

Sadly, my blocking supplies... ie TRUSTY WATER BOTTLE, are in a box, somewhere in a warehouse in Calgary. (Hey... at least they're in Calgary... took them long enough.) Our stuff is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning, meaning that I can finally a) be reunited with my stash and b) UNPACK and settle in this one horse town. All this vigor and unpacking is not going to leave a lot of time for the Duster to get attention until sometime around the weekend. *sigh*

The thing is, this sweater pattern, so far, has been pretty fun to knit, and I'm DYING to get it off the needles and on my back! So, it sucks that I have to be patient and put some other things, like MOVING INTO MY CONDO after a month of living without stuff, ahead of the knitting project. (It also doesn't help that I've started my new job, and so my days will be busy with this whole "working thing" that people apparently do EVERY DAY. {I'm kidding}) I'm already missing my knittery life of leisure in New Haven, where I knit when I wanted and where I wanted essentially.

Hopefully I can get a little sweater time in this weekend, I might even sacrifice a "hat day" if it means making some serious project on my sweater.

Oh yeah?? Remember how I said I was sick of socks? That lasted all of about 28 minutes... because I'm totally "jonesing" to cast on the "Whispering Lace" sock in my pretty varigated pink Koigu, despite my COMPLETE lack of time to give it. Not to mention that I start my Argyle sock class next week and will have to commit to that one for awhile. Can I be patient enough to wait? OR do I cast the sock on now and watch it get neglected for the next month? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hat Sunday and the Tilted Duster

Yup. More hats. You should have expected this. The cute little checkered hat is the one I completed last week and the two others were actually knit on Saturday, instead of Sunday but I've decided that it still counts. That brings the hat total up to 13! And, if that wasn't enough, my friend who's a doctor at Peter Lougheed is going to let me know if they want baby hats too. I'm a MACHINE I tell ya!

So much has happened in the last few days, I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll tell ya- I got my yarn.

Yes, it's lovely, and maybe slightly brighter than I thought I was ordering. (I will admit that I am rethinking the red over grey, but have decided to surge forward and see if I surprise myself with how much I like the red in the end.)

While I'm pleased with the yarn, I'm a little bummed about the company. Here's the thing: I love WEBS with my whole heart. When I lived in New Haven they were an hour and a half away, and any order I made they sent almost over night to me, it would arrive so quickly. The staff is unbelievably nice and friendly, (witnessed first hand at the Harlot event they held), and in general I believe it's a wonderful company. Sadly, I don't think I can order from them anymore. They are great and wonderful to order from if you live in the US, but I was a little less happy with them when ordering from Canada. Not only did I end up paying $20 in shipping for my three skeins of wool but I also got dinged $8 GST charges from customs (not WEBS fault might I add.) With the savings I had ordering from their company, I completely lost on shipping and tax. In fact in general, I ended up spending $15 more than I would have buying it from a yarn store here. (Not that anyone actually carried it in Calgary, but in general, I over-paid.)

I'm frustrated and a little sad about this loss. I love WEBS. I love their products. I really love their prices. I love that they're good at what they do... in the US. But, being in Canada, it's just not economical for me anymore to order from them. I will continue to order if I know I'm going to be in the US and send it to the location I'm staying at, but in general, there probably won't be any Canandian orders anymore... it's just too expensive. That really makes me sad, because, well, I like to support businesses I like. I just wish the shipping hadn't been so astronomical.

In happier news, now that I have the yarn, I can finally start the project I have been obsessing about ever since I bought the fall issue of Interweave Knits: the Tilted Duster. Oh my goodness I have been DYING to begin this project. Yesterday, after a successful gauge swatch, I finally got down to making the back. (Which I'm almost done!) So far the wool is knitting up nicely and everything is working out lovely- I'm sure there will be much discussion as I continue.
Given that is going to my last week of freedom to knit for awhile, (surprise! I got a job!), I'm also casting on the Alphabet Blanket pattern by the very creative Debbie Bliss. While I will not be using Miss Bliss' yarn, (one cannot buy the yarn in good conscience when one is unemployed... hopefully this will now change), I will be using the Bernat Baby Soft. (While I may be a yarn snob now, I still prefer this stuff to knit Baby Blankets... it's just soft and pretty and knits up nicely and I'm not going to defend it anymore!)

September has started with a bunch of new! exciting! projects!, and surprisingly, no socks. I just need a little sock break for a bit. (But not to worry.... neither of the two new projects are very portable, so there will be a new sock soon.) Either way, I'm really happy to be sinking my teeth into something new. Must dash.... the Tilted Duster is calling me.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Socks For Grandma!

Pretty aren't they? The socks for Grandma are finally done and, if I do say so myself, they look pretty awesome.

Pattern: Stansfield 304 from More Sensational Knit Socks
Yarn: Koigu (slobber)
Needles: US Size 2
Thoughts: I will admit that the foot for these socks are a bit big, although I'm going on the assumption that grandma's feet are going to be bigger than mine so it won't be a problem, but if I was knitting them for myself again, I'd probably modify the pattern to make the foot smaller.

The pattern was fun and different and in general, these were very pleasant to knit. I don't have much to say... so enjoy the new! exciting! socks! in all their finished glory! (That was quick huh?)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Like A Kid on Christmas Eve...

Well… I finally took the plunge and bought the yarn.

I had a lot harder time trying to decide what to order than I thought I would. It’s weird, when I’m in a yarn shop and don’t have a particular project in mind, I seem to have no problem dropping the cash for yarn to stash for later. BUT, when I have a particular project that I’m dying to knit, I find it really hard to commit to a fiber to knit it with.

This is the case with IK’s Tilted Duster. Yes, after all the obsessing I’m finally just going to suck it up and make it! I know yesterday I had mentioned this and even had offered the color possibilities, but I just couldn’t commit.

The problem is that I’m inexperienced with the yarn the pattern recommends. The pattern recommends Berocco “Peruvia”, which is fine and dandy, except I couldn’t find a store that carried it so that I could actually feel it. NOR, could I find a review or a blog where someone says anything about it. I also explored many other options… I heard great things about Valley Yarns “Berkshire”, (I worried that the fibers would “shed” since there’s alpaca in it), and considered both the Knit Picks and Elann’s more budget friendly options. I scoured the internet leaving comments on various knitting related “boards” asking anyone to tell me about the softness of the yarn I was considering.

I was supposed to just suck it up and buy, but instead spent three days scouring every knitting related site I could find doing “research”. Thank god, by the way, for Ravelry. Being able to see projects others are making and the yarn they are using for a particular project is so freakin’ smart I wish I thought of it. I have spent hours, upon HOURS on this little site and it continues to blow my mind with how awesome it is. I *heart* Ravelry so much that it’s bordering on inappropriate.

Anyways, I’ve finally committed. I’m knitting the sweater in Cascade’s “Eco Plus” and went in an entirely different direction and ordered the Red (0507) color. The review was downright glowing over at Knitter’s Review, and those who are using it seem to say great things. I ordered from WEBS and I'm interested to see how their shipping to Canada works (I haven't heard very promising things unfortunately). I miss being so close for my yarn fix, I usually got my Webs order the next day, this whole "wait for it patiently" thing is kind of new for me. Cross your fingers and watch this space for a new! exciting! sweater! on the needles soon (hopefully).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hat Sunday Continues!

Yup... more hats. When I declare something, I stick to it! These are yesterday's additions to "Hat Sunday Project", where, in case you forgot, I knit baby hats for charity. I celebrated hat Sunday with the MiL, who also observes the holiday, and she also knit a very cute pink hat.

Progress on the Stansfield socks continues to move along swimingly, although slightly delayed now that I find my days occupied by a mundane temp job. However, to reward myself for doing the mundane temp job, I'm BUYING THE YARN to make the "Tilted Duster" (purple sweater on the cover of IK) and I'm so psyched. I can't decide whether to order Ecological Wool (in 8018) or Peruvia (in gris claro or grano)- feel free to voice your thoughts here. (I've tried to make commenting available for all... so please try!)

I can't wait to start a big project soon. Wheeeee!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Crisis Averted

I had enough yarn. The sock is done. I'm safe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Revenge of the Yarn

This always seems to happen when I knit socks. I move along until I get to the heel decreases and then I'm struck by a paralyzing fear, "will I run out of yarn?". I'm knitting the new! exciting! sock! and sure enough, I'm at the heel and I'm looking at the yarn and worrying that I'm not going to have enough.

I suppose this is the curse of knitting socks from the top down. When you knit them toe up, you can decide how long to make the leg according to the amount of yarn you have left. Knitting from the top down, you run the risk of running out of yarn.

Not that I've ever run out of yarn. In fact I've been lucky enough to have ample left overs, but still the fear runs deep within my veins, taunting me. I suppose the fear is good, the minute I stop worrying is the moment I actually DO run out of yarn. But now I'm torn, finish the sock with the chance that I may get to the toe decreases and discover I need to rip the ENTIRE SOCK BACK in order to shorten the leg to have enough yarn, or stop now, at the heel and shorten the leg on the off chance that I could be right and I will in fact run out of yarn.

*sigh* what to do?

I think I'm going to take the risk and live with the anxiety or running out. And trust me... you'll hear if I run out. The loud screaming in agony heard within 9,000 miles of Calgary will be me. Just so you know.

Okay... going to try and get through. If you're not doing anything else this evening, can you cross your fingers for me?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hat Sunday and an End to Tedium

Hat Sunday continues to be a success! The hat on top is actually from last week, but the cute stripey ones are products of yesterday. Next week I'm going to have to go on a boys hat binge to even out the girls hat. (I love the white and pink small stripe combo so much that my next baby blanket is going to be in those colors.)

As if cute baby hats weren't enough... I also finished the Spiral Eyelet Socks, (or as I had been referring to them, "The socks of enormous tedium").

Pattern: Spiral Eyelet Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Baby Stripe)
Needles Size: US size 2
Thoughts on the Pattern: While the final results were cute and the socks look good, I wasn't thrilled with the pattern. Like I've said in previous posts, I don't know what was wrong with me but I couldn't make progress, I'd get so far, and then BOOM have to tink back to the error I had made. I did this AGAIN and AGAIN. On the upside, they did turn out lovely and I'm quite pleased with the final product.

How come I finally sucked it up and got these stupid socks done? I'm dying to buy new yarn. I'm really, REALLY weak. I'm trying to adhere to the "yarn diet" until September, but I am soooo close to blowing it. After trying to get the husband to agree to my need for more yarn, (this is how weak I am, I tried a completely useless route), I 've had to make peace with my current stash and accept that it needs to get smaller. My need to shrink the stash ASAP, (in order to make room for new stash), was all the moitvation I needed to get these socks done and cast on a new one.

Viola... I give you the NEW! EXCITING! SOCK! I'm using Koigu (slobber) and the pattern is complicated enough so far to keep me engaged. These socks are planned for my grandmother for Christmas, but it never hurts to start Christmas knitting now.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Inspiration Strikes- The Yarn Diet Hurts

It's been pretty quiet around here lately. The radio silence is mostly due to the move into my Condo (SQUEE!!) but also due to my rather "blah" feeling about knitting anything lately. Perhaps it's just because I've knit too many socks recently, or I've all but given up on the Nennie Sweater design, or that my spiral eyelet socks cause me more grief than joy, but I've been unmotivated to knit. I DID knit a hat on Sunday, that little project is still like "knitting crack" for me, but I'm really ready for something to sink my teeth into. Something that takes a little time, something that I can wear when it's finished.
Enter motivation.

No, I did not go on a book buying spree, my MiL got a whole bunch of books from the library that I had been wanting to check out. (Note to family: Mason Dixon and Baby Knits may now appear on the Christmas list... and I know where you can get a copy of Baby Knits, in mint condition used for a lot less.) What I love about getting these books from the library is that I can really spend some quality time in them before I decide they need to be apart of MY knitting library. The baby knits has an aboslutely complex and gorgeous alphabet baby blanket that I am feeling rather compelled to knit, although I'm thinking it could turn into the "More Than I Could Chew Part 2" project. (And therefore increases the liklihood that I won't be able to give it away.)

Then today, needing a little outing and feeling like a yarn shop was in order, I walked over to Pudding Yarns, (FOUR GLORIOUS, and short, BLOCKS AWAY), and got my grubby little paws on the new Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting issues for fall. And then, out of NO WHERE... I'M DESPERATE to start a project from them.

DESPERATE. Like maybe contemplating an online yarn order right now. Like maybe have the credit card out and trying to give myself 20 minutes to really think this through before I totally buy more yarn.

See for yourself:

Cabled cardigans! And that purple coat is BEGGING me to knit it. (That may or not be on the needles soon, depending on my online shopping....) I went from knitting "blah" to knitting "HOLY CRAP I MUST MAKE THAT NOW OR I MAY POSSIBLY DIE TRYING TO LIVE WITHOUT OUT IT". Interweave especially is loaded with at least FIVE sweaters I want to make. FIVE. I regularly buy a magazine if they have one pattern I like, but FIVE!? I am so motivated to knit RIGHT NOW that I think I might have to lie down, just to get over the excitment a little.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hat Sunday, Ravelry and Ebay

Alas, hat Sunday proves to be fruitful again. Behold the hats that I knit in the name of stash busting!

And, in case you were wondering what kind of stash the MiL and I are trying to bust, I thought I'd also include a picture of the Bernat Softee Baby stash.

Um.... yeah. We can basically choose from every color combo available!! For the most part, this is leftovers from various blankets the MiL has knit, (she too has the unfortunate luck of knitting 90 zillion blankets a year), and I continue you to hold her to the "you better knit from my stash too" rule.

That is... if my stash ever arrives. I suppose it's not like I'm really using the current stash I brought with me, but now the moving company is telling us our stuff won't arrive until around Aug 9-22... I'm trying to pretend that this fact isn't depressing me. I MISS MY STASH!

In other news, I've spent the better part of the last three days completely "ravelry-ed". OH MY GOD is that site ever wonderful. I love that just by clicking a button, I'm connected to a tonne of options and ideas to knit. Like a pattern? Click on it and see the hundreds of the same item someone else has knit in various sizes and colors. Not only that it connects you to equally obsessed knitters instantly. I haven't gone on a "friending binge" yet, only because I'm trying to get myself adequately represented on there first. I can look at yarn pictures, finished objects and even a place where they have a hall of shame type FO's. It's glorious. I love Ravelry. If you knit, you should be on there. Go now to the homepage and sign up for a beta tester. The wait is a bit much, but it's TOTALLY worth it!

In fact Ravelry has already forced me to spend some money. I found a cardigan pattern that I absolutely MUST have. The pattern was found in a back issue of "Rebecca Magazine" and a quick ebay search, and a bid later, I was the winner. That won't most likely arrive until the end of the month, which is good, because I'm still trying to make good on the yarn diet's manifest decreeing that I cannot buy yarn until September.
So, yes, it's been a busy weekend... with all kinds of things in the fire for this week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

I've be Ravelry-ed!

Much discussion on this topic to follow once I get up and running over there.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Hat Sunday!

Okay, so remember how I agonized how much stash to bring to last me 1 whole month without my stash and eventually settled on this?

Apparently I shouldn't have spent so much misery on it, because I have discovered something much more interesting and self gratifying... knitting from someone ELSE'S stash. That's right, it's bad enough that I have entire box of neglected yarn (with KOIGU no less), waiting for me, my MiL got me hooked on knitting from HER stash. She's been knitting baby hats for Rockyview hospital. They're simple, they're quick and addicting and most importantly, they eat left over yarn.

That's 2 afternoons of just casual, "I'll just knit a few rows" . THREE. STINKIN' HATS. I've had to put a hat ban on myself already, because otherwise nothing I intended to work on will get done. Since I kind of like that it's charity knitting and I like that it eats stash, I've declared Sunday as "Hat Sunday". It will be the only day devoted to baby hat knitting. Sunday, and only Sunday, I can knit little baby hats to my little heart's content. Also, I'll be keeping a running tab, with a goal of knitting at least one baby hat per week.

I think the hats were so addicting because the Spiral Socks were wrongly named. They should have been named "THE INSANITY SOCKS". I don't know what it is, or I'm just not engaged, (because I'm not), but I have made mistake, after mistake, after mistake, AFTER MISTAKE on this stupid pattern. With every 4 or 5 rows I knit, I will envitably have to go 2 or 3 rows back to fix an error. (I'm of the "OCD" knit set... meaning I can't seem to just let invisible errors go.) Progress has been slow, and painful, and motivation is at an all time low to finish.

That's not to say I'm not making ANY progress. My goal is to focus on this annoying sock this week and never look at the pattern again. Ever. (And I don't really think it's the pattern maker's fault... {although the toe is not that great}, its clearly the knitter with the problem.) Thankfully the leg is beginning to form and I'm making some headway.