August 19, 2008

Well That Worked

Posted in knitting, Spinning tagged , at 4:08 pm by nephele


See how well I did with the posting more often?  I usually post on my break at work which is fine except that lately I’ve been too busy. By the time I take a break, if I do at all, I’m to fried to think.

There’s been plenty to talk about too. I got killed in the current round of Death by Socks. It was a very colorful death, I couldn’t be more pleased.

One of my assassins (it took two to do me in) included one of those cute mini sock blocker keychain kits. I haven’t knit a sock for it yet but trust me, I will.

Back in mid July I went to Dixon’s Lambtown festival with a friend. It’s a one day mini fiber fair. There were sheepdog trials:
dog trials1
dog trials12

hair sheep

Sheep shearing:

And a fiber hall were I may have done a little damage to the wallet. I also may have talked my friend into picking up a drop spindle and some wool. You already knew I was an enabler, right?

Also in July I signed up for the Yarnsmackdown and the Ravelypics. I think I’ll save the details for another post though since I’ve already got a lot of pictures in this one. I won’t even promise when the next post will be but I hope it’s soon.


June 25, 2008

If there’s one thing I’m good at…

Posted in knitting tagged at 9:27 am by nephele

It’s procrastination.

After my last post I took some pictures of knitting in progress then, nothing. I didn’t even download them off of my camera let alone put them on flicker. When I eventually did manage to get them downloaded enough time had passed that I had other things I thought I should photograph and talk about. Did I? Um, yeah, not so much.


I could probably come up a bazillion excuses but mostly it was just inertia. I think I’ve got to go back to consciously trying to post twice a week at minimum. Once I get back in the habit I’ll hopefully get the blogging mojo back. I guess we’ll see.

So, I did take some pictures. I mentioned last time (last month!?! sheesh) that I was working on the skirt from folks style. Here’s some photographic evidence:

The strip on the left is one of 5 completed panels. The stuff on the needles is the 6th and final panel. Here’s a horribly blurry close up that does a better job of showing the mottled color of the yarn:

After I finish the final panel – which isn’t done yet because other projects intervened – I have the wool rectangles to make. They get felted and then cut up into leaves and flowers which will be appliqued to the skirt. The knitting is almost done but there’s still a lot to go on this skirt.

One of the things that interrupted the skirt knitting was a request from my mother that I wanted to try to get to for her birthday. A little history: My mother got the first decent sweater I ever knit. She washed it… in a coin op machine… with other clothes… clothes with zippers and things. The sweater didn’t have a very long life. Fast forward ten years. Mom calls and asks if I can knit her a doily for use as a table center piece. Okay… Specs? Hunter green, 2 feet in diameter – no wait, make it three feet because she wants to “scrunch it up.” Anyone think I used laceweight? Not so much, DK weight cotton on size 9US needles. It was finished quickly and she was actually quite pleased with it.

A couple of months ago she called and asked if I had any of that yarn left. I did. I’d bought a bag of ten not knowing for sure how much I’d need and it was cheap. I only ended up using 4 and a bit for the doily so I had lots left. Now she wanted a dresser scarf. She didn’t call it that and she might be using it on a different piece of furniture but the dimensions requested are 8 inches by 36 so dresser scarf is as good a name as anything. I had a couple of false starts. Stitch patterns that just didn’t work but finally came up with this:

I’ve finished it and added a very simple crochet chain edging to the short sides. Now I just need to block it and send it off. I’ll be sure to take a post blocking picture before I mail it.

I didn’t do so well about taking photos of another project I finished recently. I’d signed up for the Book and Bookmark swap. I ended up with two books I was thinking of sending and since only one was in stock when I stopped by the book store it made my choice very simple. I went with Vanity Fair. Chapter 4 is callled “The Green Silk Purse” and that purse is knitted. I used that as inspiration for the book mark. I went by the needle point shop and bought a hank of emerald green silk and basically made an amulet bag. The drawstring strap of the bag is about 18 inches overall which allows it to wrap all the book, half outside and half inside marking the page. The nice thing about this arrangement is that it can’t easily fall out. Since it’s bad luck (at least according to family tradition) to give anyone an empty purse, I made some little stitch markers and put them inside the bag. Now if only I’d taken a picture…

What else? Hmm – oh yes, Death by Socks. We are currently in the midst of battle in game number 4. I finished my first pair and have taken out my target. Now I’m waiting for the dust to settle (a lot of people got taken out on the same weekend) and see what comes in the mail first: unfinished socks so that I can make another ‘kill’ or finished socks the take me out of the game. Here are the socks that I got my first kill with:

My victim said she liked earthtones and wears her socks with blue jeans. I had this Regia yarn in my stash and it seemed like a good choice. Both she and I were happy with how they turned out. This was one of those colorways that looked so much better knit up than it did on the ball. I kind of wanted to keep the socks when I saw how it was knitting up. I wanted to make a kill more though so off they went.

Speaking of knitting games, I just signed up for the Olypic Yarn Smackdown. I’m taking it easy this time though. The only event I signed up for was “knitted lace bookmark.” The advantage to this event is that the finished knitting fits in a standard envelope. One of the less obvios costs to playing these knitting games is postage. I usually go wtih the flat rate Priority Mail envelope with tracking number which ends up being a bit over $5. Send off enough pairs of socks and it can add up pretty fast. I’m looking forward to a game that doesn’t cost much this time.

I think that’s it for now. I’ve got to save something for the next post later this week – I hope!

April 1, 2008

So, where was I?

Posted in knitting tagged , at 4:02 pm by nephele

Um, hi!

Wow, that was a long, totally unplanned break. Nothing horrible happened, I just didn’t blog for a bit and inertia kicked in.

I’m back now…hopefully. Maybe I need another resolution. That worked for several months last year.

So… What have I been up to? At a friend’s suggestion, I’m going to try recapping those silent 2.5 months, one month per post. That means today’s post is all about January, or at least the last half of January.

January was (mostly) about TNNA. No, I didn’t go but my friend did. She made a lot of useful connections at the show and I’m going to be very busy this summer knitting prototypes for her. She pays me, at least in part, in yarn. I may have mentioned that I love yarn – or perhaps you figured it out for yourselves? Yes? So, good for me. The downside of the this is it isn’t very good for the blog. I can’t put up pictures of unpublished designs. I’ll take photos as I work but until the designs come out I won’t be able to give out any details.

January was also about the flu, which in no way helped me get back into blogging. I missed getting my flu shots two years in a row. Never again! I always get some sort of secondary infection when I get the flu. This time it was an inner ear infection with a side of mild sinusitis. Pretty annoying, although my office seemed quieter for a while there.

Remember the Fyne vest? My friend wore it to TNNA she liked it that much. I managed to get a couple of shots of her modelling it:
fyne3 fyne4

She’s since bought a couple more white shirts to wear with it. The last time she wore it at the store someone (hi Carel!) ended up buying all the yarn to make their own. Since that’s kind of the point behind shop samples I’d call that a success. I haven’t started my cardigan yet but I haven’t abandoned it either. It’s in the queue.

Death by Socks game #3 has come to an end. I only managed one kill this time out. Here’s one of my weapons (make from Koigu KPPPM):

And here are the socks that did me in:

I’d recently walked holes into the only pair of blue socks I had so these couldn’t have been more perfect. I’ve worn them several times already. The yarn is Regia which is, so far, my favorite commercial yarn. Other brands may be pretty but I’ve never yet worn out a sock made of Regia and I make my second ever pair of socks from the stuff! That’s a pretty good survival rate for a sock. Let me just point out here that I don’t own a car so my socks get plenty of milage on them. I’ve worn out several pairs of Koigu socks, a pair of Colinette Jitterbug and even a pair made with Trekking XXL, but not one hole in any of my Regia socks.

Think they’ll pay me for that endorsement? I’d settle for some more Regia. No? Well, can’t blame a girl for trying.

I can’t think of anything else for January so I’ll wrap it up for now.

Next time: February.

January 14, 2008

It’s Fyne-ished

Posted in Knitalongs, knitting tagged at 10:09 am by nephele

Yes, I know – groan. But what’s a girl to do. A knitting blog without at least the occasional bad pun is hard to find. They seem to go together. Based on family history, I’m genetically predisposed toward bad puns anyway. I can’t help it, it’s in my DNA.

As you may have guessed the Fyne vest it done or done-ish anyway. I still have some yarn ends to deal with and it could do with a light blocking but it’s all knit and seamed.

Since this is a shop sample the only change to the written pattern was a color substitution. There wasn’t any of the Camel (#157) in stock, so I used Gilt (#160) for the main body color. That change made the finished vest a touch more vibrant.

I’m now working on redrawing the charts in colors I picked for my cardigan version – no yellows and fewer greens. Don’t get me wrong, I like yellow and green they just don’t like me back. I’m half Portuguese (half English) and that gave me a somewhat pale olive skin tone. If I wear much in the way of yellow or green I look yellowish green. Not something to shoot for unless I want to convince people I’m sick. So my cardigan will have a pale violet ground with blue, purple, pink, brown and 1 green shade, in stranding. I’m keeping the purple ribbing since it works well with my changed palette and I like purple.

I haven’t gotten too much else done that I can show you. I got interrupted last week by a rush job for Wilma (the designer I knit for). This last weekend was the TNNA trade show. These shows are where Wilma submits most of her design ideas to the publishers and magazines. She’s one of those people who works best under pressure and she often comes up with ideas at the last minute. She has at least learned that she doesn’t have to have the entire garment done to show people – a good thing since the last minute idea this time was a dress. All she needed from me was a large swatch to show the colors and stitch pattern. I got it done in plenty of time but it took a couple of days out of my own knitting schedule.

Oblique  has grown a bit but it’s been the fallback project. It’s the thing I work on when the other stuff isn’t convenient. Still, a couple more inches and I’ll be starting the armhole shaping. I suspect that the closer it gets to being done the more I’ll work on it. I love the yarn and pattern, it’s just that I love everything else too. This is the project that gets bumped every time something time sensitive comes along.

Speaking of time sensitive, round three of Death by Socks  starts tomorrow. I’ve already been in contact with my victim and my assassin. It’s shaping up to be a fun round. I started a simple ribbed sock to warm up my fingers for the coming mayhem. There’s no way I’ll finish it before I need to start the killer socks tomorrow but I’ve got more needles so it’s not a problem.

The yarn is Claudia Handpaints in Chocolate Cherries – and people wonder why we describe yarns as yummy. I think these socks will nicely compliment my Leaf  cardigan (which I’ve finally started working on again). If all goes well, perhaps I’ll wear them at Stitches West next month.