Thursday, July 31, 2008

August Gift List

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

July was better than June. Although I don't have any FOs, I did make some progress here and in other knitting areas.

July Wrap Up:

1. Gift Item: A lace shawl. (Rollover)
Progress: No progress this month. I need to restart the thing with new needles. There are more details here, here and here.

2. Gift Item: Finish Boogie Time (2 of them) (Rollover)
Progress: No progress this month. I'm still stuck. I still need a watch face that works for a boy.

3. Gift Item: Rainbow Socks (Rollover)
Progress: No progress, but they my "something old" for the Q3 Challenge.

4. Gift Item: Jen's Purse (secret knitting - Rollover)
Progress: The yarn is still lost in Jen's house.

5. Gift Item: Wickerware Socks (socks for a male relative.)
Progress: This is where I made real progress. I've finished one sock and gotten past the cuff on the second one.

August Gift List:

1. Gift Item: A lace shawl. I'm really going to finish it! (Rollover - Again)
Recipient: Grandma
Occasion: Christmas
Deadline: June 2008, for the Second Quarter Challenge.

2. Gift Item: Finish Boogie Time (2 of them) (Rollover - Again)
Recipient: Family Friends
Occasion: last Christmas
Deadline: Overdue

3. Gift Item: finish my sister's socks (rollover - Again)
Recipient: Sister
Occasion: Birthday
Deadline: Overdue

4. Gift Item: Jen's Purse
Recipient: Friend
Occasion: Birthday
Deadline: Overdue

5. Gift Item: Wickerware Socks
Recipient: Male Relative
Occasion: Christmas
Deadline: Let's say December 18, to give me enough time to mail it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WIP Wednesday and Why I'm the Root of All Evil

I think it's time for an update, don't you?

Today after work I went to the knitting meetup at the Steeping Room. While I was there, I finished my first Wickerware Sock and cast on the second one. I never finish a sock unless I can start the second one right away. Its a surefire way to prevent Second Sock Syndrome.

Also, a night or two ago I finished spinning the Merino pencil roving that I got at The Knitting Nest. I decided that I like it as a single, so I tied it up so I could set the twist.

I debated about whether or not to put a weight on my other handspun yarns. Considering how kinky this one was when I took it off the Niddy Noddy, I think it will definitely need a mug when it comes out of the sink.

Once again, I used hot water and with a little Eucalan. It seemed to work fine with the other Merino. And so far, there's no bleeding.

Patton Oswalt says I'm the Root of All Evil

Earlier I saw Patton Oswalt argue that bloggers are The Root of All Evil. Apparently, the world will end with a Twitter. I would say that proves that Twittering is the root of all evil. Bloggers like me are keeping hope alive by writing in complete sentences. Sometimes.

(There are clips at the Root of All Evil Website.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Tens: Ten Free One Skein Patterns for Malabrigo Hats

In less than a year, all the knitters around me have gone crazy for Malabrigo yarn. It's suddenly popped up in a couple of different LYS's in Austin, and become the center of a campaign on Ravelry.

One of the great things about Malabrigo is that it comes in a rainbow of colors. If you're tempted to try them all, these patterns should get you started. They can be knit with one skein or less of Malabrigo Worsted, and they're all free. And if this is just the hats, imagine what else is out there.

All pictures used with permission. You must be a Ravelry member to access Ravelry downloads. Don't worry, it's free to join.

1. Lucy by Woolly Wormhead (This is a pattern from the now defunct Magknits. It's now available as a free Ravelry download. You can see a picture of the original hat here.)

2. Stella's Hat by Melissa Lynn
(You can see a picture of the original here.)

3. The Amanda Hat by Gina House. You may be able to get two hats from one skein if you are careful.

Example knit by Jennifer in Violetas.

4. Hurricane Hat by Andrea Goutier

Example knit by Cathy in Stone Blue.

5. Max's Staircase Tam by Robin DeWeese. This is a kid's size hat, but there is enough yarn in a single skein to make it bigger.

Example knit by Robin in Shocking Pink.

6. Mod Cables Hat by Jeanne Stevenson

Example knit by Jeanne in Geranio.

7. Foliage by Emilee Mooney

Example knit by Jennifer in Polar Moon.

8. Star Crossed Slouchy Beret by Natalie Larson (Available as a free Ravelry download.)

Example knit by Allison in Blue Graphite.

9. Dean Street Hat by Nina Machlin Dayton. This pattern comes in a variety of sizes, including children's sizes. (Available as a free Ravelry download.)

Example knit by Beth in Forest.

10. The Boy Hat by Elizabeth Heath-Heckman

Example knit by Laura in Oro y Vino.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Year Long Gift-A-Long Q3 Challenge

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

I've been meaning to officially accept the Q3 Challenge, so now I want to nail down exactly what I'm going to knit.

The challenge is to knit something old, something new, and something special just for you (

1. Something Old - I'm finally going to finish my Rainbow Socks, which have been languishing for a long time.

2. Something New - Center Square

3. Something Special just for You (Me) - Entrelac Scarf

I have until September 30.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tour de Fleece 2008: Finished!

I did it!

I achieved my goal for the Tour de Fleece goal. I turned all my soy/wool roving into a skein of Navajo plied yarn.

I also set and plied the other yarns I was working on in the process. I have three handspun yarns to add to my Ravelry page.

It's a good thing, too. I was running out of mugs.

Can you tell that the yarn bled? The picture on the left is before setting the twist, and the one on the right is after setting the twist. I think the difference is more pronounced in real life, but it still looks good.

After setting the soy/wool yarn, I set the Corriedale single. I didn't have to worry about it bleeding. Even with the mug, it's still a little kinky.

I think it's pretty even for the most part. The beginning is slubbier.

This is about six ounces of naturally gray Corriedale in a single. I'm still debating what to do with it.

(There are more pictures of the Corriedale here and here.)

The merino did leave a tinge of blue in the water. However, after the debacle with the bleeding soy/wool, it didn't bother me at all.

I'm really proud of the merino. I plan to make a simple ribbed hat out of it soon.

This is about four ounces of merino total, two in indigo, and two in periwinkle. The two colors were plied together.

There's more pictures of the merino here and here.

I'm so excited. And next year, I'll set an even bigger goal.

Swatching Sunday: Classic Elite Premiere Gauge Swatch

Tonight I swatched the Classic Elite Premiere that I got at the Gauge party.

It does feel really nice and buttery soft, although it is a little bit splity. I think it has potential for a summery top.

I started with US Size 4, which gave me 9.5 stitches and 14 rows per 2 inches. US Size 3 gave me 10.5 stiches and 14.5 rows per 2 inches, and US size 2 gave me 11.5 stiches and 15 rows per 2 inches. I used the aluminum needles in my Boye Needlemaster.

As of now, the swatch is unwashed and unblocked.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The "Holidays in July" Party at Gauge

I got new yarn!

I went to the "Holidays in July" party at Gauge today, and this is what I got in the White Elephant swap. I brought some Lorna's Laces Grace in the "Watercolor" colorway. (The picture I took is pretty blurry, but you can see it here is you want.)

This is Classic Elite Premiere, a cotton/tencel blend. I think I'm going to swatch with it, although it's tempting to make a project. But I think I'd rather swatch, and then I can buy more if I want. Then I'll have a better idea of what I should knit with it.

There were lots of yummy goodies, blueberry-champagne cocktails and sparkling conversation.

At some point we got into a conversation about ways to store notions. Several people are using these fly fishing containers. (Pill boxes are also a popular choice.)

I had to take a picture of me and Emily. Alexandra said we are like twins. She later clarified it had to do more with our interests, although I think there is a slight resemblance.

Did I mention that Gauge now has Silk Garden Sock in stock?


I'm hoping to coin "OPP" (other people's projects) as the next new online knitting abbreviation. Here's some OPP from today.

Carnivorous baby pants! (I forgot the knitter's name. If it's you, let me know.)

Alexandra's colorful baby blanket.

Here's another one by Alexandra, a big felted bag.

Jane's socks, on her awesome dpn holders with skulls on them.

n00b Corner: Postponed

This week's n00b Corner is blowing my mind. I realize now that I need to devote more time to the topic. So I'm crapping out just this once and postponing it a week.

If you want to weigh in on Continental vs English (and the billions of other techniques and variations) please join in at this Ravelry thread. You can also e-mail me or leave a comment.

This feature will return next week. (I promise.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

You down with OPP? (Other People's Projects)

I seem to have collected a bunch of pictures of projects other people are working on (or have already completed.) I decided it was time to publish them.

These first four are from the Ravelry party at the Knitting Nest.

Michelle's completed Celtic Tote.

Lynn's completed Wing-’o-the-Moth Shawl. (Full details here.)

Nicki's Spring Forward socks in progress. Nicki dyed the yarn herself with Kool Aid.

Christina's Neck Down V Neck Maternity Sweater # 274 in progress. Christina is due in November, and hopes this will double as a nursing sweater.

I took this picture at Bluebonnet the other night, but I forgot to write down the woman's name. (It began with a W, I think.) Apparently they dyed sock blanks at the last mystery night. (I don't know if this is the brand they used, but this is a sock blank.) I had to get a picture of the blank turning into socks.

Finally, Mom has been working on BYOB from the latest Knitty. She even splurged on the Cotton Ease recommended in the pattern. (Mom says she can't afford nice yarn because she spent all her money on college from me and my sister.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bits and Pieces: WIP, Gauge and Knitty

I've had to unravel big chunks of these socks twice because I got off by a couple of stitches. But after completing the heel flap tonight, I feel like I'm finally making progress on my Wickerware Socks.

I went to movie night at Gauge tonight, and worked on the heel flap while we watched Edward Scissorhands. I got to show it to another knitter who hadn't seen what a heel flap before.

(BTW - Gauge is having their Holiday in July party on Saturday. The yarn swap is at 3 p.m., I believe.)

Also, the Knitty surprise is up. This time, all three are tops. Vickie Howell's Tank Girl has a couple of quirky dropped stitch "runs" for interest. Hey, Teach! has the most potential for me, personally. It's a breezy short sleeve cardigan. And, I don't know if I'd actually ever knit Sea Triangles, but I love the design ideas behind it, and the fact that someone did an entire garment out of Habu.

Ravelry Party at the Knitting Nest

Isn't it pretty?

Sunday afternoon I went to the Ravelry party at The Knitting Nest. This table of indie goodies met me at the door.

Here is Melissa of Sew Bendy with her nifty project bags.

Unfortunately, my close up of all the beads and scented items ended up blurry, but you can see it here. I also managed to forget the name of the artist/entrepreneur. If it's you, e-mail me.

Of course, there was the first batch of yarn and fiber from Stephanie's Spinning Colors.

You can't have the first "Speckled Plum" batch, though. They're mine. (The very first fingering weight yarns were have less yardage than the future skeins will, so I bought all three. of this colorway.) I think these will make great handwarmers with lots of cables.

Stephanie also brought her wheel, a Louet Julia. Except for the occasional strange sound from the bobbin, it looks great. The double treadle makes it easy to start treadling in the proper direction. (I almost knocked over Mom's wheel while trying to make the wheel spin in the right direction with my foot. My hands were full.) Also, the hooks on the flyer slide up and down, and make it easier to adjust where the yarn winds onto the bobbin.

Hank was pretty mellow most of the time. When I came in, he was on his back, practically begging for a tummy rub. (There's a short video of him here. Of course, he didn't move much when I filmed him.)

I finally got a full picture of the drawing of Dolores that Franklin drew during his visit. I love this detail. (He also worked Hank and the Knitting Nest bird into the drawing.)

After a lot of talking, lemonade, gingerbread cookies and watching Stephanie teach Christina how to spin, it was time to head home.

I'll have some more pictures coming up in a later entry. Until then, you can see all my pictures from the party here.