Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fastest Sweater Ever

So almost two weeks this time. I've been trying to keep busy and knitting. Mostly I've been obsessed over my Gathered Pullover. I'm amazed at how incredibly quickly it's coming together. More on that in a little while. First I wanted to share my finished Azure Socks:

To refresh memory a bit, this is the Azure Socks pattern from Knitty. Hopefully the link above works. The yarn is Koigu KPPPM. I can't remember the colour, but it's all pretty soft muted blues, lilacs, and greens.

This was my first time working with Koigu and I did get a little pooling. Luckily for me, it happened almost exactly the same on both socks. Same colour pool, same spot on the ankle/instep.

This is a really pretty pattern with a lot of interesting detail. The heel construction was unlike anything I'd ever encountered before, but owing to the fact that I'm still learning, I followed the instructions as written and they turned out beautifully. They are extremely snug. I almost couldn't get them on. I'm still determined to wear them though because I'm in love with them.

Enough of that. I've got other socks on the go, but nothing much to report progress wise so, meh, moving on to more exciting stuff. Like my sweater:

Here is my progress thus far. I finished the body and one sleeve already.

And I'm well on my way to finishing my second sleeve. This picture was taken yesterday and the sleeve is about twice as long as this picture shows. Incidentally, the question I get asked a lot about knitting with cats is whether they bother the yarn. The answer is actually no (except for rare occasions or if the yarn in question is alpaca). The thing they like most about knitting is the needles. Also any writing implement I'm using to keep track of where I am in my pattern, and as evidenced in previous posts the book, magazine or paper the pattern is actually on. It's not insurmountable, I figure small children are actually more problematic to knitting than my cats could ever be.

Today I dragged my yarn stash out of the closet. I decided it was high time I went through my old stuff. Some of it was from when I was in high school. A lot of it was leftover bits from other projects (including some leftover from my grandmother's stash when she decided she'd never knit again and passed it on), and almost all of it is acrylic. I'm determined to work my way through some of it. Lots of charity knitting I think will be appearing on this space in the coming months. I'd like to point out that I'm not going on a yarn diet. I would never hear of such a thing. As with all diets, I'm of the firm belief that imposing a no good stuff restriction will result in a serious binge in the future. Nope, not me. I'll still buy yarn, I'm just making a concerted effort to designate stashed yarn into specific projects and put it to good use.

That is all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beanies and wooden stakes

Well, it would seem that I'm not quite on track with my once a week blogging. I've got blog-worthy stuff going on, but there was a visit from the family this weekend to celebrate by grandfather's birthday. So that's taken most of my time over the weekend. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it. If anyone cares to complain, all I have to say to that is:
Actually, in all seriousness, this is a prop replica of the Slayer's Scythe from the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Very pretty. Zara thinks so:
I know it's not really knitting related, but I like to knit while I watch Buffy. Does that count? No, there is a pointy stick part:
And if that weren't enough to kill vampires:
So shiny!
Okay, fine. Enough geek, more yarn. How 'bout this?

I knit this a little while ago, but never got around to blogging it. Here's a bad shot of me wearing it:

It is so hard to take pictures of yourself in the mirror. Anyway it's the Beanpole Beanie by Cerebral Hemorrhage. I used some of the leftover Briggs & Little Regal from my Not-so-Kakhi Cables cardigan which is a lighter guage than the pattern calls for. It makes for a much smaller hat. I have a pretty tiny head, though so this worked to my advantage. It's not as slouchy as it would have been with a heavier yarn, but I think I like it anyway. I like the pattern too, and might even try again in a chunkier yarn some time.
As for more current knits, I started this last week:

And took this picture last night. Then went out for coffee and didn't blog. So I took this one tonight:
This is the Gathered Pullover by Hana Jason from Interweave Knits Winter 2007 issue. The yarn is this:
I can't find reference to this yarn anywhere online, but it's a really gorgeous undyed black sheep merino yarn that my parents very graciously brought back from Australia special for me. I can't remember if I blogged it before. I've been hoarding it since October, so it's entirely possible that I was keeping it to myself. I know you would have too :) Anyway, I was waiting to find a great pattern for it and this simple pullover with a great bit of cabled detail seemed to be just right. It even looks like the yarn used in the picture in the magazine.
So I guess that's it for now. I'll just leave you with a picture demonstrating one of the reasons it can be hard to get much knitting done around here:
They don't make a habit of playing with yarn, but magazines, papers, books, needles, and pencils are obviously designed specially for cats. Right?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Finally Finished

So this is what it looks like outside today:

Yeah. Time to knit.

But first, I have a finished object to show you. I finally finished my Not-so-Kakhi Cables cardigan and took some pictures. First I tried the mirror:

That wasn't bad, but I really needed someone else to be photographer. So I found a friend and got this:
and this:
Much better. So, as you can see, this turned out to be wearable which is encouraging. I put a year's worth of work into this sweater, so it's good to know that I will wear it. So the pattern, one last time is Kakhi Cables by Penny Ollman. It was from Knitter's Magazine Winter 2006. The yarn is Briggs & Little Regal in black. I've forgotten the needle size I used, it was whatever the pattern called for. On the whole, a successful project.

Onwards! I've signed up for a workshop at one of my LYS in fair isle. The class is tomorrow, hopefully the miserable mess from the earlier photo will have cleared up by then because this particular store is in an industrial park way out in the middle of nowhere. Blech. Anyway, the yarn they wanted us to bring was this:

Patons Classic Wool. I needed a variegated and a solid, so I got Rosewood and Taupe (which I think is really more chocolate brown, but whatever). Hopefully they'll turn into something nifty. Wait and see. More about that later.

While I was in the yarn store there was also this:

On Your Toes Bamboo. Mmmmm this is so soft, I can't even describe it. It's new to me (I think to the store too) and is 75% bamboo and 25% nylon. It's also machine washable and dryable. I'm doing a happy dance in my chair over that. The colour is called Tropical Dusk and reminds me of sterling roses (my favourite!). So pretty!

But that's not all, there was also this:

Arequipa 65% superwash wool, 20% alpaca, 15% nylon. Did I mention alpaca? Alpaca socks for me! Sorry, happy dancing again :) Ahem. The colour is number 201 and is all greens and blues and some lavender thrown in for good measure. It makes me think of spring, which considering the weather, isn't such a bad thing.

Anyway, now that I've blown my yarn budget, I'm going to go and pet the new stash for awhile.