Sunday, November 23, 2008

Early presents and just in time presents

Last weekend Llama gave me my birthday present early! I am truly a lucky knitter.
Lots and lots of baby alpaca, I got a whole sweaters worth of KP Andean Treasure in Embers, dark reds, which I am planning on making the Dollar and a Half Cardigan from the spring 2007 Interweave Knits.
I received 6 skeins of their new line Imagination in three different colour ways; Evil Stepmother, Wicked Witch and Frog Prince(2 skeins of each. There was also some more Andean Treasure in Mystery Heather, Lilac Heather and Midnight. There were also 8 skeins of Gloss sock yarn in autumnal colours; Pumpkin, Cocoa, Dusk, and Woodland Sage. Also to top it off (like there needed to be more!) 8 skeins (2 of each colour) of the lace weight Alpaca Cloud in Tide Pool, Raspberry, Midnight and Stream. Yes, I am spoiled, why do you ask? Is it that obvious?

My husband is the most knit worthy man ever, he enables me all the time. Here is my pile of yarn that I would love to dive into Scrooge McDuck style.

I also finished up the Shifting Sands scarf for Llama's co-worker, this finished up just as it is starting to get really cold here so I am glad, I did mix up the pattern a bit with stripes of a diagonal pattern a couple times and it really turned out lovely, and since it was an alpaca, angora, silk blend it was heavenly to touch. I do hope it will keep him warm through out our wonderful winters!
Here is a close up of the stitch patterns as my other photos were unacceptable to post!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, have a great week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

some days we need more than mac and cheese

Today I woke up wiped out. I don't remember my dreams (which is odd for me). I had a hard time getting motivated to do anything, usually I get get through the morning dishes with out a second thought, and even tonight there are still half a sink full of dishes to get done. When I got ready for work today, I had to resign myself to the fact that I needed a little extra comfort today. I am not sick, that I know of anyway but tired and a bit run down. It was just one of those days that I wanted to curl up on the couch in my PJs with a big cup of tea and a good blanket and read, sleep, knit and snuggle with Llama for the whole day, but it is Tuesday and they won't pay me to do those things. So I settled with wearing one of Llama's sweatshirts and also added my grandmother's ring to my hand. Might sound silly but those two things made me feel better. I was able to get out the door with my tea (can't skip all the comforts!) I know there are many things, usually very individualized, that can comfort us. I just don't usually come across the need to have them physically close to me. Today was different. We had a busy, eventful weekend and I think it just wore me out a bit. It will all get back in sync and even this evening I am just taking it easy and not pushing things too hard. I am allowing myself to just rest. I have a knitting swap that I am researching patterns for, reading through some magazines and newspapers I have been meaning to get to and am starting to feel like myself again. I think there are days when I have to remember to give myself permission to take it easy and slow down. Definitely need to do that more often.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

September is flying by...

It has been a crazy week, S and B were up visiting and it was good to see them, even though it isn't very conducive to knitting. I am completely exhausted this weekend, and it is a good day to stay home and do some cleaning and some knitting. We went to the farmer's market yesterday and it was a gorgeous morning for it. We picked up apples, hopefully I will get around to making some applesauce soon too. Lots of veggies and some beef chuck for Llama's new meat grinder, he made some delicious chili which I might have to go dig up for lunch.

We were able to go to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival a couple weeks ago, it was really nice to see all the wonderful hand spun wool, I did have to pull Llama away from the angora bunnies, he is pretty sure that they taste better than they they make yarn but thankfully I was able to keep him away. We also got to see the lambs from the UW farms that were only a day or two old. They are so cute and tiny.

I also joined the Madison Knitter's Guild this year, the first charity they are sponsoring this year is "Knittin' a Mitten for Midvale Elementary". The goal is to cover all the students with a pair of mittens. These are the two pairs I knit up before the first meeting. I have found that lately I have needed my knitting to be complicated/challenging or I am getting bored, so I added the stranded colour work for fun, I love watching the patterns emerge.

The MKG has a bunch of great speakers set up for this year including the Yarn Harlot at the Madison Knit Out in the spring as well as a library for checking out books, I borrowed Latvian Mittens which is very intesting, I had never had the chance to look through this in person before and it has been fun to read and learn about Latvian culture. My english teacher in high school was Latvian and would sometimes tell us about her family, wish I had knit back then, I could have asked her more about it.

Also, one of my co-workers is having a baby, so we had a shower for her on Friday, I made up some baby feet washcloths as well as a couple plain clothes in a variegated yarn for her. She thought they were wonderful, but she appreciates hand made items. Sorry the pictures are so yellowish, last minute pictures before I had to wrap them up.

I have also been puttering along with the shifting sands scarf, I have decided to also add a band of another pattern for a couple inches on each end of the scarf, balanced although, not necessarily symmetrical to break up the knitting a little bit. I am just not sure what to use yet. Here is an update picture, it is approximately 10 inches long, and I will probably do the band of the second pattern for about 2 inches, guess it depends on how it looks.

Well, that is all I have for updates at the moment, the last couple of weeks have been so busy, so it was good to relax and look at my knitting this weekend. I have been reading about all the gift/holiday knitting knitters are planning on Ravelry and Knitty and I have to say, that whether you celebrate the winter holidays or not, it is so important to not be too busy with making gifts that you miss out on the gift of time with your family and friends.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work in Progress Update

It was a quiet Labour Day Weekend, which was good as I was able to get to work on multiple knitting projects that I would like to get moving on.
Here are some pictures, I am so excited as to how the arm warmers are coming along.

I am 1/3 of the way on the first arm warmer from Knit So Fine. It is coming along beautifully and other than some frustration on the first inch or so, things have been going along swimmingly, although I have taken over the dining room table since that gives me the most light and I can lay out all my charts more easily. Llama is an enabler.

This is the shifting sands scarf by Grumperina and it is lovely with it's undulating cables. It is meant as a thank you for one of Llama's co-workers. I love the soft denim colour of the yarn, a lovely alpaca, angora blend. Should be nice and soft around the neck.

There is the Sunray shawl, that feels like forever, but really only about 8 months. I am trying to keep going on it. It is lovely yarn and beautiful pattern but it is definitely challenging for me. I love the colours and am trying to have it done by the end of the year, so I will keep chugging along.

That is all for this morning, but I can't wait to share more.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

KSF fingerless glove update

KSF fingerless glove update
Originally uploaded by madda79
Well, This is how far I got on the fingerless gloves in Canada and I have slowly been making progress since I have returned home. I will be taking more pictures soon. I did learn that following the advise of the book, definitely use a cable needle. I also found that placing the cable needle stitch back on the needle before knitting the stitch worked better for me than knitting from the cable needle.

I love watching the pattern emerge and I have to thank Llama for encouraging me to stick with it, after the first couple of rounds of the patterns, I was getting a bit discouraged. Canada came to the rescue and I worked at a table, which allowed me to lay out all of the charts and have plenty of room. I am going slowly and trying to get two rounds done each night, It really is turning out beautifully and I am on row 33 of the repeats so I have been slowly falling in love with the pattern. It is also going faster the more I do, the first 5-10 rounds or so took 15 minutes each round, but now I am getting a round done in about 4-5 minutes, depending on which cables are being used. I have also found that I am starting to memorize the cable patterns, so I can tell when reading the charts which cable to use without always having to reference the key.

I am still working on my shawl and hope to post update pictures soon. I also and still working on a pair of socks for Llama out of Patons Kroy in a waffle pattern. I am also going to start some child mittens for charity soon too. As they are small, they are good for instant gratification knitting.
Be back soon!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dirtiest Husband Ever?

Okay, the title just sounds dirty, it is actually a clean post.

For our anniversary this year, Llama decided to get me something different, we usually order matching rings, which we will do later this year when we can but he found something else and I couldn't live without it.

I got this in the mail when we returned from Canada...
an autographed photograph of Mike Rowe, from Dirty Jobs!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

There is no place like home...

We are back from Canada and we had a great time! There were some bumps and surprises but I can understand the concept Gone Bamboo after visiting St. Joe's Island.
I have lots of pictures and stories to share, but it will take some time and this will be shared in a series of posts (I am trying to be consistent, it takes some work).
But I wanted to share the darling Ruby pattern that the lovely Rain inspired me to try. I used my plain sock recipe for the structure of the sock, but the idea was planted by her pattern.

These are for a friend of the family who apparently is the only one having a girl at this time (out of the 2 who know they are having boys and the other 4 that aren't sure yet) I was excited to have little K come along and I hope to soon see her in these little sockies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here we go!

We are on our way to Canada tomorrow morning at 4am!
I can't wait and hope to have lots of good pictures!
See you soon!

Shady Nook Dock, Richard's Landing, St. Joseph's Island, Ontario, Canada 2007

Sunday, July 13, 2008

me want cookie!

One of our friends (one of many) is pregnant and due in August, so I set out to create a little something for her new baby. Since I have been a long time cookie lover, I thought it would be fun to create a baby hat of another cookie fan :)

This hat was knit on size 3 needles, working on a 16in addi Turbo circular and finishing decreases with size 3 DPNs.
The yarn is FrogTree 100% Alpaca sport weight with KnitPicks Essential sock yarn in black for the mouth. Color 309 which I think it a very close match to Mr. Monster.
Sew on googly eyes.

I had a lot of fun figuring out how to make the mouth work on this hat, I also included some small loops on the inside so that if you place your fingers in the loops the hat becomes a puppet.
This was a pretty quick knit and I hope to do a few more in the future, with the amount of babies around here, that won't be a problem :)Hopefully, I will also get a picture of the recipient in his/her hat when they arrive this August.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I figured I better post my swatch while I am still thinking about it :)
This picture does not do the Handmaiden yarn justice, but I love the colours and it has a beautiful sheen to it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And now for something completely different…

Interweave Press 2008

I recently picked up the book Knit so Fine from Interweave Knits and I am in love!
The patterns are lovely and the fine gauge fits me to a T. My plan of attack is to knit every pattern in this book, one at a time of course and blog about it here! Hopefully this will “kill two birds with one stone” and get me back into blogging while increasing my knitting knowledge and experience.

I have decided to start knitting the Fingerless Elbow Gloves.

Interweave Press 2008

I have started swatching (my first swatch ever) with some beautiful Handmaiden Sea Silk in Seafoam. This swatch created a beautiful drape and lovely shimmer that I couldn’t even begin to capture with my camera. I began on size 3 bamboo needles and created a swatch in the round, once I had enough done to get a good measurement, I realized I already knew the gauge for this project would match what I get on my size 2 needles. However, I am glad I swatched, and will continue to do so for my future projects. This did give me more information about how the piece would hang and fit my arms.
I do have to say a bit about this yarn, even just while working with it the little while; I have fallen in love with how the colours play against each other. I would have never guessed how lovely they would be knitted up in a smooth fabric. The sheen and feeling of the yarn are irresistible. I do need to take more breaks then I would if I was knitting in wool and I can feel the strain on my wrists but I will give myself regular breaks and also have a couple other projects going on in the back ground with other needles sizes and yarns to help keep my hands stretched and safe.
I have finished the ribbing for the left glove and it is going pretty nicely. I have used charts before but never this many at once. I am a bit apprehensive but also excited. Now I just have to keep everything separate.
I also started a shawl a few months ago and it is slow going but I was able to do another lifeline this week and added a couple more rows to go, hopefully pictures next time.
I finished a baby hat too for a co-worker of Llama, who is due in August. I will post soon with pictures, as I am very happy as to how it has turned out.
I am also trying to get back into blogging as I like to read other’s blogs and I think it is a nice form of community.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Arrrr you ready for some socks?

Yeah! My pirate socks are done! I have more pictures that Llama is modeling the socks but I wanted to post this week before it becomes next week. These are the Jack Sparrow's Favorite socks pattern from the lovely Trillian42

Llama loves them and I am completely in love with the fact that I tried stranded color work and they turned out pretty well. They are a little tight to get on and off but no problems while wearing them!
I finished these up right before New Years so Llama showed them off when we visited family.