Monday, March 30, 2009

Parade of UFOs

I'm officially one of those knitters. You know the kind who starts stuff but never seems to have an FO to show for her troubles. Bearing in mind that I have at least two projects that are beckoning me that I either have the materials for or will soon have all the materials for (i.e. the Aeolian Shawl and Tussie Mussie) I should get my knitting house in order. I would love to say that I will finish these project before I start on either of the aforementioned to-be-knits but I won't lie to you : ) So, just to show you that I do knit and not just threaten to, here are some of my UFOs (that I can put my hand on now anyways) that I will be putting a big effort into finishing before I have to start back the grind of studying/ stressing/ exams cycle.

First up - Francie socks - being knitted in Nature's pallette yarn

Up to a point, these socks are a fun knit. For me the fun-ness stopped once I reached the arch shaping. It's no fault of Rebekkah who wrote the awesome pattern, but it was how I read the instructions and interpreted them. It reminds me of a previous knitpicks podcast where Kelly Pet.kin was explaining that very phenomenon. It's not that the pattern was badly written, it's the part of the knitter who just doesn't get the pattern writer's language. Don't get me wrong, there are badly written patterns out there but this is NOT one of them. I did get some help from two wonderful ravelry members and I've gotten to this point. I do confess that I messed up somewhere around the foot shaping but I refuse to go back and fix it as I've prolly ripped out and restarted the arch shaping part at least 5 times now (last count). I believe the second sock will be better. They are a bit baggy here as they are for my hubby and I'm sure will fit him most excellently. Will get pics when both are done and he's wearing them.

Next up - the Deep V Argyle - being knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto.

I am a tad embarassed that this is as far as I've gotten. I started pretty strong but tapered out considerably for two reasons. I didn't realise Eun.ny had two versions - one for small people and the other for not so small people. I bought the yarn yardage for the small people kind and then realised that wasn't enough after I discovered my error. I could buy some more yarn but I think I've explained the issues I experience when having to order yarn. Won't bore you again with those details. Second, I'm not sure when I will get to wear it. I am planning a trip overseas this year but it won't be during a season that requires me to wear a woolen vest. Maybe it will be done before next year! Then I could plan a cold weather vacation. Hmmm... that doesn't sound very sane does it?

Then there's my Raglan Leaf Tee - being knit in Rowan Calmer.

The last time I worked on it was when I met up with a fellow raveler on her trip here and we sat and lunched and knit. I have not picked it back up since (well maybe to move it from one location to another but otherwise... not to knit it!). It has eaten 2 (could be 3) balls of the Calmer so far and it is knitting up so lovely! It's soft and light. I can see myself wearing it to the movies - if only I will finish it!!!

Then there's Swallowtail Shawl number 2 - being knit in Malabrigo sock yarn (methinks).

I do plan to finish this, but there's a KAL on the Knitters of the Caribbean group on ravelry that will be coming up in April so I will get a chance to knit on it and finish it with some company. I am knitting it with Malabrigo sock yarn - I think. I have to double check what I said it was 'cause I don't rightly remember.

Lastly is the Hab.u I bought that didn't come on the cone as I'd asked : (. It looks really shiney here. I guess it is pretty shiny as it is 100% bamboo. When I get my new ball winder I'll get to putting it in a cake and showing it off proper then. Until then, here's an uber shiny pic for ya.

I haven't received the beads for the Aeolian shawl and rowan wool/cotton for the Tussie Mussie as yet. Was supposed to get them last week Friday but the freight forwarder just didn't send 'em. So they promise tomorrow - see why ordering anything can be a bit stressful at times?

Anyways, at least things are being knit and maybe someday soon I'll have a parade of FOs to show ya!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The H.abu has landed!

After a minor snafu and a delay here and there, the H.abu yarn for the Aeolian Shawl is finally here and it's lovely. I did ask them to wind it on a cone for me because I don't have a swift (welllll... the wobbly swift-like thing I have sitting on my floor still isn't at the stage I would put my lovely xs-45 on it!) and they didn't :( Also, my winder is busted (new one on its way) so I can't even recruit hubby to hold his arms out forever - twice as there are two skeins of super skinny yarn - while I wind it up. Also, there's the matter of the beads that the freight forwarder hasn't delivered to me yet so the lovely shawl will have to wait. I hate waiting.

In other knitting news, the socks for hubby are currently being ripped. The 96 stitches I cast on per sock turned out to be way to big for even his large steppers. So it's riiiiiiiiiiipppppppp for them. I will be casting on again shortly but this time with my trusty dpns - once I can find the other size 1 dpn that seems to be awol! Once I'm back in action I will post pics of the sockies.

Oooo! Almost forgot to mention, I just bought 10 skeins of Rowan Wool Cotton in Rich for this project! I'm also exited to start this. I think it will be a really nice cardigan to wear out at night.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Proof that some things are easier in theory

Ever so often, I get bitten by the DIY bug. Like the time I tried to make curtains for the house for Christmas or the time I decided to forgo spending big bucks on those pricey store curtain rods and make them myself or like last night where I/ we attempted to make a swift. All three of these examples ended in a shake of the fists and a strangled cry as the result in practice did not add up to the idea in theory.

I won't show you the pics of the curtains or their "rods" but I will show you the carnage that was the attempt at a home made swift.

My darling hubby spent hours on it and he's not a hands on person like that but he tried and I appreciate it. The end result is a kinda wobbly not quite right swift that only spins under duress. However, hubby is now obsessed with making it "the right way" that he is thinking of making another one.

The other example of theory easier than practice is the two socks at a time on one needle. Actually, it's not so bad now as I think I'm getting the hang of it (knock on wood) but it was a really head scratcher for me! Progress shown here:

I'm happy with how they are looking even though it's not that much to show for all the work I put in it! Cable wrangling is hard!

Anyways, tomorrow is another day, one I'm looking forward to for some rest. I'm going to go finish watch Obam.a on and then turn in for the night. Anyone else watching? Have a good night! More progress pics to follow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good things come to those...

...who pester the freight forwarder! Finally, got my Knitted Lace of Estonia book and it does not disappoint! All of the patterns in this book are gorgeous and just reading about the history behind Estonian knitting is riveting. What awesome knitters they had to be, knitting exquisite shawls without the benefit of written pattern or charts! The girls started learning from age 4 - wow!

Like I said in one of my last posts, I plan on doing the Miralda shawl and here you see a pic of the yarn I am thinking of using.

Seeing the pattern in "person" rather than on the web has made me ponder if Knitpicks is the best choice for this intricate beauty. Nothing against Knitpicks as I have used it before for shawls, but the beauty and the history of the shawl inspires me to get something more lucious to invest in this project. There are so many yarns out there that in seeking out what I'd like to buy sends me further down the blog-rabbit hole! I'm picturing some Suri Elegance, but I don't know how well it will go with this pattern. We'll see!

In other knitting news, I've cast on a pair of socks for my deserving hubby. In order to avoid the dreaded second sock sydrome which I have succumbed to on a number of occasions, I decided to go with the 2 at a time sock knitting technique. Well... after a few days, I am now starting row 3 of the cuff. I have a 47 inch cable and somewhere I read that using any longer than a 40 is not recommended but I have to say, the 47 inch is working for me as a beginner to this technique. Synopsis of how it went:

1. Cast on with glee. I'm actually knitting something that can finish in a week or so!

2. Get to step 5 and get hopelessly tangled in two cakes of yarn and a fiddly needle that seems to be growing and simultaneously shrinking with each flick of my wrists.

3. Somehow sort it out and go to second row. Figure out that I somehow twisted one of the socks at the join and was now knitting a sock and a mobeius sock thingee.

4. Rip it out and wonder if hubby truly is deserving in the light of the drama I was at that moment embroiled in.

5. Come to my senses that yes, indeed he is worthy as he is an awesome supportive husband and fighting with wayward yarn and needles was the least I could do for him to make him his long promised socks.

6. Knit 2 rows and let it "rest" on the side table for a little bit.

So I'll be back to it once the kids go to bed and theorhetically won't have any need to call me 5 billion times, times 2, and I can think clearly while conquering this technique. While others on ravelry imply and said outright that it is not difficult, thereby making me feel somewhat challenged, my first encounter has left me somewhat, cautious in my goal to finishing something and soon. After all, it has been over a year since I started the raglan leaf tee! For shame and tsk tsk!

Hope your projects are going better than mine right now!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A chance to breathe!

Ah! There's nothing like the feel of having the weight of a pending exam over! Maybe finishing up the designation perhaps but one step at a time : )

So, now that some of the fog has cleared for now anyways, I feel the urge to knit something. I have one project I'm about to start (as soon as I've finished this post)and another I have been getting ready for. The Aeolian Shawl. Simply stunning. Here'a pic of the yarn I plan to use.

It's Habu xs-45 20/3. I placed my order with Habu and should be getting it soon - yay! I'll be making the cream coloured one and I also bought some awesome beads from Earthfaire as well. It will be my first time knitting with beads!! I was hoping to start the Miralda shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia but the freight forwarder didn't deliver the book when they promised it and now says I should get it Tuesday. Huh. We'll see. I have some lace in my small stash that I might use for it.

Hopefully, I'll be seeing more of this blog as I have a small break - still have a business case to hand in in about 3 months but it's no way as intensive as these past few courses! Night all! Off to start a small and should be satisfying project - at long last : )

PS - my "c" key is behaving very badly. I have to clack it about 3 times for it to show up on the screen - Grrrr!!!!!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Too busy to knit

Wassup, wassuuppp? Hey there! Happy Friday to yah. Just dropping in to say hi and stuff. As the title of this instalment states, I'm too busy to knit... not to busy to order THIS but I'm too busy to knit. But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it and we all know sometimes it's the thoughts that count right? LOL!

What have I been doing? Oh the usual. Studying. It's amazing how it's so all consuming! I feel very tied to my book and look forward to cutting the strings when my exam is ovah! Yayayayay! That doesn't mean I'm done yet. Nope, just a few more courses to go and then I can get back to my life.

Hope everyone is well and that you have a great weekend what ever you do. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this song that spoke to me in so many ways! Until I get back with some pics and a wip pic at least, take care!