November 05, 2007

Malabrigo "Intenso" Stocking

:: Intenso ::

Hooray for one-skein, one sock projects! I started this sock Halloween night while I was waiting for darkness and trick-or-treating. And the following two days, this served as my waiting-in-the-car-rider-line project. It was a quick knit and counts as one of five socks I worked on during Socktoberfest.

I've started working with a skein of Shokay Shambala, and in spite of swatching it several different ways, the best-looking fabric was a humble garter stitch:


The fiber itself feels dense and substantial and I think it will make a luxurious neckwarmer (one skein is not enough for a full-length scarf).

And since I'm the queen of one-skein projects (self-titled of course), I have to share this little bit of news -- Mary-Heather's capelet is a featured pattern on Ravelry!


I've knit FOUR of these capelets from the pattern I purchased at Knit Cafe. Now it's a free pattern on her website. You can wear it several different ways -- and it's incredibly lightweight (yet warm).

Rowan Kidsilk Haze "Jelly"

Rowan Kidsilk Haze "Liqueur"

Tomorrow's post will be the DPN review that I promised. We've been hit with two stomach viruses this past week -- the knitting has taken place in between taking care of two miserable boys.

February 20, 2007

Final lace capelet entry


Pattern: Lace Capelet by Mary Heather
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze "Jelly" purchased at SWAK in Guthrie, Oklahoma in March 2006
Needles: Clover Bamboo circular needles, Size 10.5 (US) for knitting and Size 11 for casting off
Started: 2/9/07
Finished: 2/18/07

I used a little under 1 ball of the Jelly Kidsilk Haze (Rowan). This is my fourth capelet and it's free of the mistakes I made in my first one (i.e. primarily a "too tight" bind off at the neck). The laceweight mohair blend has so much warmth even with a lacy, open pattern -- I love it. I've blocked the capelet (steam only) since I took the photo yesterday and the bottom no longer curls up and my stitches have evened out a bit too.

For now, I'll you with a mystery felted project created with one of my two favorite felting yarns - Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. The fuchsia color is amazing and now I'm inspired to knit a swatch with it to brainstorm something else I want to knit. Here's a hint.


February 18, 2007

Finished Lace Capelet

Finished Lace Capelet
Click on the photo for project details

February 16, 2007

Finished Sophie


It's hard to describe the color of the yarn but Purl Soho calls it "Yakima Heather" (Color #9459). It's a dark greenish brown Cascade 220 with subtle shots of a mustard yellow. When it's felted, it has a bit more dimension than a solid color yarn.

I think this is either my 9th or 10th Sophie Felted Bag. Most have been given as gifts and two are living at the yarn store on display. This one, however, is mine (for now). It was what I was knitting while I was worrying about a loved one facing a serious surgery. (Everything turned out well). Today I bought some gorgeous fuschia Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride to use to finish an existing work-in-progress. WIth whatever I have leftover from that, I'll likely knit a small cell phone cozy to carry inside this Sophie.

My felting supplies:


Zipper pillowcase
Old Jeans
Wool Wash
Top-loading washer

It never gets tiring making something quick and easy with a skein of wonderful yarn and then seeing the transformation when it emerges from some vigorous hot-water agitation. (I'm easily amused).

And, yes, I'm almost finished with my acid green (Kidsilk Haze "Jelly") lace capelet
but I also whipped up a quick head-hugging beanie (Ann Norling Leaflet #55 - Head Huggers by Gail Tanquaray):


It's Mountain Colors 4/8ths wool in "Tamarack." It's a challenge getting this to photograph its true color. It's got a lot more "gold" in it than this. I intend to make another one of these for myself but I'm going to use a Size 7 circular needle instead of a Size 8. The ribbing was a bit on the loose side in the Size 8. However, it's a great basic hat pattern with references for sizes from infant to adult along with different gauges and ribbing patterns. It's similar to Ann Budd's approach in her series of books for figuring out your own knitting patterns that fit your gauge.

I was reading the BEST article today in the March 2007 Real Simple magazine while I was waiting for an oil change, "Half Full? Half Empty? You Decide." Here's a great quote from it, but I'll have to buy the magazine for myself and bookmark the article:

"It's amazing how much unhappiness we needlessly cause ourselves by ascribing negative meanings to simple things that happen in our lives. But it doesn't have to be that way. When we feel like this, we can learn to pause for a split second and ask ourselves these questions: How can I interpret what just happened in a way that gives me energy and propels me forward, rather than dragging me back and making me feel inadequate and frustrated?"

This article was written for people who assume the worst when somebody looks at them in a way that makes them feel something's wrong, or perhaps somebody has not responded to a conversation or some other form of communication in an expected way. There are people I know who have an internal dialogue with themselves in which they're convinced that others are looking at them, criticizing them or mocking them. Whether it's true or not, I think this quote from the article is a gem: "An empowering interpretation is just as valid as a disempowering one. You get to decide what impact life has on you. Make it positive."

I also got to read House Beautiful and Marie Claire (fresh, current issues) and eat freshly popped popcorn. It was like a boutique oil change once I decided to embrace the wait.

February 11, 2007

In progress - quick knitting and more

I had a lot on my mind this past week, so I needed some quick knitting to make it through and keep my thoughts from wandering, so . . .

I bought yarn and a button for this Sophie last Tuesday and I cast on February 6th. It's drying now and I just have to sew on the button and I'll be ready to start carrying it:


I cast on for the capelet on February 9th, early in the morning (and yes, I'm writing these things in my new notebook so I don't have to rely on my memory):


And for the "someday" knits (not necessarily soon), I've acquired this:


It's Schaefer Anne (above) for future socks and Baby Ull for the Estonian Lullaby Baby Blanket:


There's other knitting going on that I previously blogged about and when I (a) make more progress on them or (b) have a reason to blog about them, I will.

Continue reading "In progress - quick knitting and more" »

January 20, 2007

Knitting and Insanity

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over
and expecting different results.
Benjamin Franklin

(I agree).

I don't know if my readers have ever noticed that there are some knitting patterns that I've knit a few times. Rather than do the same thing over and over in the same way, I take what I learned from my first one and apply it to the second one (or third -- and so on). So although I'm a repetitious knitter, I'm not an INSANE repetitious knitter.

The Purl Bee Mohair entry reminded me of my first experience knitting with a blended mohair yarn -- Kidsilk Haze. I was instantly smitten. In May 2005, my sister and I visited Knit Cafe and she fell in love with this lace capelet (pronounced "cape-let" and not "cap-uh-let") on one of their mannequins. More of the story here.

I've since knit the third capelet (a much-improved version of my first one pictured in the photo on the blog post linked above) and am still planning to knit a fourth for myself in Kidsilk Haze "Jelly":


Here's a photo of Capelet Three snapped last year (November 2005) in the same color as the too-tight Capelet One:


This is a simple lace pattern knit in the round from the bottom up. The only tricky thing is to make sure you bind off loosely. There's hardly a way to redeem the project if you don't. And, I learned that even though I like the sharper tips of the Denise interchangeable circulars, my gauge was so off compared to the Clover bamboo circulars that I had to frog the entire nearly-finished capelet. Check your gauge after knitting several rounds. I'll be making my own next attempt after I finish at least SOME of my works-in-progress. I'll be keeping it for myself.

Earlier this morning, I cast on a sock. I'm waiting for a bit more sunshine to take a photo of it. I am LOVING it -- and what better way to break out of my knitting slump than with a gorgeous sock.