January 31, 2007

Progress Report

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 11:35 am by nephele

Knitalongs, Games and Such

  1. Headgames: Two down. Waiting on the mail for either unfinished hat to knit or finished hat that takes me out.
  2. Death by Socks: One down. Ditto the waiting for mail thing.
  3. Project Spectrum 2.0: Starts tomorrow, um, yikes!

Samples for Stitches

  1. The Noni bag is knit but still needs to be felted. As an apartment dweller with only unreliable coin-ops to work with I won’t be doing the felting. The pieces will have to go back to my LYS owner for felting. Once she’s done that, I’ll get them back and take care of the final assembly. That’s part of why I’m in such a rush to get this one knit. I need the turn around time. Anyway… here’s the sloppy, floppy, enormous, unfelted bag:


    And here is the start of one of three flowers (the pink) and the first of the i-cords for that handles (the green):


  2. The Mrs. Beetons aren’t started yet. I’ve got that yarn and the pattern together. I figure I’ll start them as soon as I get the Noni bag parts all knit. I shouldn’t have any trouble getting the Beetons done while the bag is off getting felted.

My Forecast Sweater
There’s been a little progress but not much. You can at least see the cables now but I’m still on the yoke. This is my typical MO. I work like crazy on projects for others. Anything for myself keeps getting set aside. Maybe I should pretend this is a sample that needs to be done soon?

New Years Resolution:

At least two post per week? Let’s see…

1/1 and 1/4
1/9 and 1/11
1/15 and 1/18
1/22 and 1/25
1/28 and today

So far so good. I haven’t yet done more than two in a single week but I have at least managed the basic two. One month down, eleven to go.

I just may have started something else as well…
Um, yeah. That’s the first two segments of the cover shrug/bolero/sweater/thing from the current issue of Vogue Knitting. This is one of those designs that either grabs you or makes you say ‘whaa..huh?’. It grabbed me. Even better it grab my friend the LYS owner. She loves it and wanted one out of cashmere, really good cashmere. I may not be keeping this one, but I get to touch every lovely, soft inch of it. It’s not my color anyway. I’ll just keep telling myself that. Not my color, not my color, not my…

Got some comments to get caught up on.

Sarah said:

Wow, you’re slaying them left and right! (And that Raspberry Delight looks good enough to eat!)

I try. I don’t really expect to win either of these games, too much of it depends on the mail. That’s a good thing though, I think. It means there’s no real front runner, no single speed demon who’ll take the prize every time. In fact the winner of SockWars has already been taken out in Death by Socks. Everyone has a chance. This is good. And who knows, maybe I will win.

Speaking of good, that yarn! Yeah. It’s even better in person. It has little hints of orange in the overall pink goodness. Now that IS my color! I had a hard time giving that up to its rightful owner but I managed.

Evie said:

That hat is for me – in Central New York, where it has been below zero a lot lately. It is beautiful – yarn and construction! I am very grateful to you and your first victim for my new hat!

See I did manage to part with it! Evie, I’m glad you like it and have good use for it. So far both of my hat victims were from colder climates than mine. It makes me feel better about taking them out.

I forgot to mention it in the hasty note I sent with the hat, the person who picked out that yarn for you and started your hat went by the nickname “Hathead“. We both have her to thank for that gorgeous yarn.

Sarah also said:

Busy, busy! Stitches is coming up so fast…I can’t wait!

Ack! Don’t remind me! I’ve already got a case of knitter’s elbow. I don’t need any more pressure! Although, that does remind me. Must get taxes done so I’ll know how much I can spend or, you know, how little…

Ingrid said:

I’m inspired by your sock completion. They’re purple and lovely!

Think you might get your one and two year old – just need one toe – socks done now?

This was another case of me having a hard time letting the yarn go when I’d finished. The funny thing is that I picked that color way because it wasn’t one I’d have used for myself (not my color). See, I’ve got a long term project going that’s using leftovers from my Koigu and Claudia’s socks. Basically, it’s a modular jacket with black as the main color and all the little leftover bits as the contrast colors. I want it to be as multicolored as I can make it. I’ve even got friends donating their scraps. Since most of them use different colors than I do I’m getting a lot of good, random colors. Anyway, when it came time to pick out yarn for Death by Socks I decided to buy a color I wouldn’t normally get so I could add any leftovers to my supplies for the jacket. Great idea in theory and I did have leftovers, but I love the finished socks. I may end up getting more of that color to make some for myself after all. So maybe it is my color (but not the cashmere, that’s definitely NOT my color, whimper).


January 28, 2007

Another One Down

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 12:13 pm by nephele

I finally finished my first pair of socks for Death by Socks. It took my quite a bit longer than the SockWars socks. There were a couple of reasons for that though. The SockWars pattern used DK weight yarn and for Death by Socks we’re using fingering weight. Also, January has been a pretty busy knitting month for me unlike the late September start of SockWars. Then of course there’s the whole “I must be nuts” factor of joining two knitting games at the same time.

I’m doing okay though. I’ve taken out two Headgames players and now one sock player and I’m still alive in both games. The downside of that is that I’ll still be knitting for both games. I don’t have any unfinished pieces in hand right now though, so I get a break from both games until the mailman brings me my next weapon or my doom.

Meanwhile I’ve got plenty to work on. My LYS owner wants to show the Noni bag at Stitches next month so I’ve got to get that going. She’s also hoping that I can get a pair of Mrs. Beetons done that I’d promised her. I’ve also been working on my Forecast sweater. Then there’s some design work I may be doing for Bella Knitting.

So, yeah. I’ve got stuff to do while I wait for the mail.

By the way… If anyone is interested in joining these games it’s too late for Headgames but the person doing Death by Socks intends to do more rounds of play later on. If you sign up fo the Yahoo group you’ll get a chance to play in those later rounds. She’s planning to do a different sock pattern each time so it will continue to be fresh. Plus if you sign up, maybe I’ll get to kill you. Won’t that be fun?

January 25, 2007

There Goes Another One

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 3:51 pm by nephele

Yup, it’s another DeathHat for Headgames. My first victim got her hat and sent me the one she’d been working on. She knit almost the entire cable band so I was able to finish it up and mail it out today.

The – very pretty – yarn is Zen Yarn Garden Handpainted Superwash Merino in Raspberry Delight. This yarn made me wish I could kill myself but that wouldn’t be fair. So off it went to New York state where I’m sure it will be appreciated.

Now I get to wait to see if I get another unfinished hat or the finished hat that will knock me out of the game.

Meanwhile I’m still working on the second DeathSock. I’ve finished the gusset and I’m working on the straight foot section. It won’t be much longer before I can put another notch on my needlecase. Mwahaha!

On another subject…

I’ve only received one reply to my question about the Snap pop-up previews. That was a negative. Since that’s my own gut reaction to it I think I’ll go ahead and turn that feature off. It’s just a toggle so I can easily turn it on again later if I change my mind.

January 22, 2007

One Down, One to Go – In More Ways Than One.

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 12:22 pm by nephele

I finished the first round 1 DeathSock and I’m working away on number 2. Here’s the finished sock (with the unstarted ball of yarn for number 2):


Number 2 is in the middle of the gussets as of this morning. I’ll probably be done with it some time tomorrow unless I get a burst of knitting mojo tonight.

So that’s the first of the “One Down…” items. Here’s the next one. I posted a week or so ago about some of my future project plans. I listed two sweaters. Right about the time I finished the gussets on the first DeathSock I got a little bored and the ADKD bug bit. Yup, I started one of the sweaters. Specifically, I started Forecast with my Cascade Quattro.

See that’s the problem with planning stuff out. Once I know what I’m going to do with something I want to get started. Well, no. Actually I want to finish it but that takes a little longer.

I did change the cable to get rid of the bobbles. I could have done a simple 3/3/3 braid using the existing 9 stitches but I wanted something a little different. I went with and 8 stitch wide, 4 ply braid. Charted, it looks like this:

I haven’t gotten too far on it since I really do need to finish those socks but it was nice to make a start. The pattern is a top down raglan. Here’s what I have so far:


Another item for the “Is She Crazy or What?” list. I signed up for Yarnmonkey’s newest venture KnitOff. This one is a straight competition with no exchanges. Starting Everyone will be paired up in simple, single elimination rounds. Starting in March we will get a pattern to knit. Work as fast as you can. The first person in each pair to upload a picture of the finished item wins and moves on to the next round of competition. Eventually there will be two knitters battling it out to be the KnitOff champion of the world! Heh. We’ll see how long I last. I’m a fairly fast knitter but over the length of this completition any number of things could conspire to mess me up. It’s also possible that my round one opponent will be a real wiz and knock me out before I’ve even started.

One last thing, a quick poll of sorts. WordPress has added a new feature. Point your mouse at any of the text links in this post or over on the blogroll and you’ll get a popup with a preview of the page the link targets. So the poll… Is this a cool feature or an annoying widget? I can turn it off if I want but undecided so I’ll leave it up to you. Leave a comment and let me know if I should keep it or can it.

January 18, 2007

Working on a Death Sock

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 3:34 pm by nephele

The hat for HeadGames mailed Tuesday. I sent it priority mail. My victim probably got it today. So I’m waiting to get an incomplete hat back before I can do any more in that game.

Meanwhile I’m working on my first Death Sock for Death by Socks. As you can see from the picture (I hope) I’ve done the heel shaping and have picked up for the gussets. There was a problem in the pattern with the heel turning. I tried one solution which made the stitches come out okay but the heel is rather pointy. Today on the group I see that errata has been posted correcting this error. Unfortunately the correction is different from what I’ve done. I’m going to rip back and fix it. At least I didn’t get too far past it. I’ve only done 2 rows of the gusset. If I’d been further along I probably would have just let it stand and done the second sock to match. Oh well. Just the vicissitudes of war I suppose.

In other news…

Next month marks the start of Project Spectrum 2.0. Lolly has been wondering what people have been thinking of doing for it this time around. I’m not entirely sure. One thing I was thinking of though, was to let the spectrum colors influence which UFOs I working during each two month period. I’ve certainly got enough stuff in enough colors to find something that has at least one color of the current triad in it.

For example, the February-March colors are blue, gray and white. This has gray in it (and the teal is a blue-green so it sort of counts):
UFOothers 002
Then there’s this one with blue-gray, taupe and cream:
UFOothers 004
Or this blue shawl:
UFOshawl 003
Or these dark gray socks:
sockufo 001
Spoiled for choice really.

In comments:

Sarah said:
The Waterlily hat is so cute! I love how the subtle varigation works with the cable. Glad you like the sock yarn!

Thanks. My victim likes green so I hope she’ll like it two. I may have to get some more of that yarn. There’s a really nice burnt orange that keeps whispering to me. It worked up so well in the pattern stitches too. It’d make a really nice Rogue don’t you think?

And of couse I love the yarn you spun! Feel free to spin more for me. Anytime. Really.

January 15, 2007

Let the Games Begin!

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 12:47 pm by nephele

I had so much fun with Sock Wars that I signed up for two more games both of which started in January. Lucky for me, they didn’t start the same day. What was I thinking? Anyway… The pattern for the second game, Death by Socks, came out today. The good news is that I finished the first hat for Headgames last night. Here it is:


My target loves green (but not lime green) so I think she’ll like this. The yarn is Classic Elite Waterlily color#1960. It’s 100% Merino. I think my victim will appreciate that as well. She lives in a part of the US that gets real winters.

I’ve got yarn and needles with me today so I can get going on Death socks. I picked up some more of the Claudia’s for this in the Purple Earth color. These will take a little longer to finish (sock yarn) but I’ll do my best.

In unrelated good news I got a present on Friday. A friend of mine, Sarah, got a spinning wheel last month and has been having fun with it. She spun up some fabulous roving called Wild Thing. You can see the unspun stuff on her blog. Here is the finished product (which is now mine!):


And here it is after a spin on the swift and ball winder:


There’s about 90 grams. She was going for a two-ply sock yarn and she did a pretty good job I’d say. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with it yet, socks or armwarmers are the leading contenders. I do think I’ll go ahead and split it in to two balls. There should be plenty of yardage but I always get a bit paranoid about that sort of thing. If I make two balls then I know I’ll be okay or at least I’ll know I’m not okay when I get near the end of the first piece. Maybe I’ll do toe up socks. That way I can just knit until I run out. Suggestions?

I have a bit of time before I have to make a decision. I need to concentrate on the Deathsocks right now. I think I’ll take a coffee break and go cast on.

January 11, 2007

Future Knits

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 5:49 pm by nephele

I was reading through my favorite blogs list today and saw this question posed by Lolly.

What are your someday projects?

That question and all the current “knit from your stash” efforts that are going on got me thinking about what I’ve got lurking in my stash. Not the UFOs, I’m thinking of not-even-swatched-yet-objects or NESYOs. There are (this shouldn’t surprise any of you) many. I’m not going to even try to commit myself to knitting from my stash this year but I do think I’ll pick a couple of these NESYOs to try and work on in the coming year. I’ll have to work them in around all the prototypes, shop samples, knitting game items and UFOs that I’ll still be working on; should be easy, no?

I reserve the right to change my mind later but I’ve picked a couple. My choices might have been slightly skewed by the unusually cold weather this week but it’s not like I just decided to make these sweaters. The yarn is already in my stash and one lot was purchased specifically for the sweater I’ll make with it.

First up, the older one, is the Indonesian Diamonds cardigan by Leigh Radford from Interweave Knits, Fall 2003. The original has dark mustard yellow as the main color with deep jewel tones as accents. Pretty as that is, mustard yellow is not my friend (unless I won’t to pretend I’m sick to leave work early – not that I’d ever do that!). Consequently, I recolored it. My main color is dark red with navy and other rich tones for accents. I changed the yarn too. I’m using a now discontinued yarn called Luna. It’s nothing unique: 100% merino wool, many plies, cushy. Lana Grossa Bingo is similar as is Karabella’s Aurora. I got it on sale when it was being discontinued and it’s been languishing for years. I think the time has come to knit it up.

Number two on the list is a more recent yarn acquisition. Cascade 220 Quattro in color 9440. I’ve loved this rather eccentric colorway ever since I first saw it and I finally got some. My current plan is to make Stefanie Japel’s Forecast with it. I am not much of a bobble girl so I’ll probably just omit them.

I’ve got some time to reconsider my choices and lots of stash projects to consider. Tonight I’ll be finishing up that prototype designer piece. As soon as that’s done I’ll need to get started on my Headgames hat. Some of my competition will probably finish their hats before I even get mine cast on. I’m putting my faith in slow mail service. Then on Monday Death by Socks will start. There are always all my UFOs to play with too. Yeah, no rush.

A couple of comments came in this week:

Laura said:

Nice to see that you are consistent in your colors choices – mmm orange – you. So surprised! Congrats on the blog! Since I have never ever found anything you don’t know about knitting it’s nice to see you share your stuff!

Hi Laura! How are you? (Another LYS friend finds the blog.) Orange? What do you mean orange? Okay the Paprika, that one I’ll give you. But the Jitterbug has no orange in it and the Spring Break barely has any. The Chocolate Cherry may look a little orange but it’s really a pinkish-red and brown, no orange at all.

Yeah, it’s a fair cop. Anyone who saw my stash would see lots of colors but about half of it has at least some orange in it.

Sarah said:

Of course the LYS gets the Claudia (and other goodies) in stock right after I stop working there…figures! I love the colors you chose — I love semisolids like Paprika because they are just so versatile.

Life is so cruel isn’t it? Mind you, no matter when you’d left something good would have shown up soon after.

I’m definitely going to have to do something interesting with the Paprika. That’s why I bought it. I love all the great multicolored sock yarns but they do limit what you can do as far as patterns are concerned. I enjoy mindless simple socks but I like the complicated ones too. It all depends on my mood.

Well, that’s it for now. Hey, look: second week of the year and I once again got two posts in. Yay me!

January 9, 2007

I Promised Pictures

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 9:39 am by nephele

I try to avoid breaking my promises so here’s a picture. This is the sock I started in Colinette Jitterbug. The color is Bright Charcoal and the pattern stitch is Bumblebee from Barbara Walker volume 3. I’m only one repeat in because I’m still frantically working on prototypes for my designer friend. I’m finished with the solid black one and I’ve moved on to another design. I’m feeling a little under the gun but I’m making good progress. I just got the yarn Saturday evening and I’m about half done. Of course I need to be all done by Thursday. Since this is another as yet unpublished design I can’t show you any pictures yet. How about if I distract you with some recent stash additions?

I liked the Jitterbug so I picked up another color:

sockstash 008>

This one is called Jay.

My LYS also got in a shipment of Claudia’s Hand Paints. I couldn’t resist getting a few.

sockstash 009

From the top the colors are Spring Break, Paprika and Chocolate Cherry. I think that last one is my favorite but that could change when I start knitting. The coloring on the Paprika is so subtle I’ll be able to use busy pattern without the detail getting lost. I’ll have to give it a lot of thought when the time comes.

One good thing about all the rushed prototypes, it’s a great warm up for the new knitting games I signed up for. The first round of Death by Socks starts on the 15th and Headgames starts on the 10th! At least they don’t start the same day. All I have to do is knit a hat before the 15th then I’ll be ready to start the socks. Why yes, I am crazy.

Back to the knitting

January 4, 2007

Second Post of the Week

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting at 5:49 pm by nephele

Heh, keeping to the resolution this week anyway…

No pictures today. The only thing I’m knitting on is another prototype for my designer friend. Since it is an as yet unpublished design I can’t show pictures of it. It’s solid black so the pictures wouldn’t be very interesting anyway. I’m working to a pretty tight deadline. I need to get it done before the 12th so she can take it with her to a trade show. She plans to give Vogue the first shot at buying the design. She’s got two other designs in the works too, so if I get this done early I’ll probably be helping on one of those.

I did cast on a pair of socks for myself but there isn’t much to see yet. I’m trying out the new Colinette sock yarn Jitterbug. I got the Bright Charcoal color. With all the black in my wardrobe I figured it was time I made some mostly black socks. I started out making these in feather and fan but the stitch count needed (72 sts) cause the color to stack in an unpleasant way. Basically the sock was half black and half everything else. I tried again using my standard sock with a lace pattern thrown in. I decided to go with the Bee stitch from Barbara Walker #3 (the Charted patterns). It works up over 8 stitches which let me take the cast on down to 64 total. It’s coming out much better this way and the Bee stitch in JitterBUG yarn is kind of apropriate.

I need some brown socks too so the next pair I do will be out of some Shepard Sock a friend gave me for Christmas. It’s in the Irving Park colorway which is mostly brown and violet, very pretty. I’d have probably started those before the Jitterbug, but I haven’t decided what pattern to use yet.

The only other bit of news for today is over on the side bar. I signed up for Lolly‘s Project Spectrum 2.0. The action doesn’t start until next month, which is just as well. That’ll give me a chance to finish up the prototype(s) and make a start on the new knitting games I signed up for (Head Games and Death by Socks) before I have to give any serious thought to how I’m going to approach this whole spectrum thing.

Okay, I think that’s enough solid text for one day. I’ll find something to photograph for next time, promise.

January 1, 2007


Posted in Uncategorized at 4:04 pm by nephele

Okay, since this is my first New Year’s Day as a member of the blogging world I figured I’d give that whole resolutions thing a whirl. I am nothing if not self-aware so I’m not going to make any grandious promises that just set me up for inevitable failure. No promise to diet or exercise, I’ll do it or I won’t but nothing I write here will make a bit of difference. So, no. I’ll keep it simple and possible.

Here is my one and only resolution for 2007 (cue drumroll):

I resolve to try to update my blog at least twice a week.

Note the use of the word ‘try’. Even with only one relatively easy resolution I had to give myself an escape hatch. Afterall life happens and I wouldn’t want to feel guilty about it.

And that’s one update for this week, just one more to go 🙂