Friday, November 23, 2007

Socks Ahoy!

Well, just in time for our anniversary, I finished the socks I was working on for S. They are well loved already because I couldn't keep them hidden while I was working on them and all I got was "are they done yet? My feet are cold." No kidding, it's 33 degrees. Anyway, I completed these in light speed as far as I am concerned and I could not be happier. I have a little gapping along the decrease edge of the heel gusset on one side of each sock. I read the suggestion to knit into the back of the loop of the decreasing stitch in order to close some of this gap but it doesn't seem to have made too much difference on the second sock. Oh well. Other than that small little thing, I think they look great!! This is my first completed PAIR of socks and I am very pleased. I have to admit I really liked the size 7 needles and how quick that made these go. However, I did run out of yarn about 5 rows from the end of the second sock and ended up having to use some of my guage swatch yarn to finish them. I have the next pair in the queue but they are on size 2 (I assume but I haven't done the gauge swatch yet) and I think they'll take a little longer. I've got a bit of time before they need to be completed.

Tonight I am finishing the Marsan Hat for RED which I only need to finish the decreases. Next, I'm thinking some of the other dishclothes I need completed for the holidays. I want to do another just plain one to match the one already complete below and then do a couple of the Ballband dishclothes that are in the Mason Dixon book using this same yarn and using chocolate brown for the mortar. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for yarn! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Still making gifts!

The last two posts haven't had much knitting in them so I thought I would update what I have been knitting. I've continued working on presents for the holiday season. I broke down and showed my brother his present in progress when he was here last weekend. He's about to go out of the country for the next year and I kinda wanted to see if he liked the yarn and such in person. When I pulled out the beginning of the Marsan Watchcap I'm knitting for him, he just sort of looked at it like "I hope that actually turns into a hat." I reassured him that it is a very simple pattern but it does have some nice detail along the top. I really like this pattern. It's a K1,P2 ribbing where you knit in the back of the stitch. For some reason, just adding the twist by knitting into the back of the loop makes this more interesting than plain ribbing. That makes no sense but it is true for me. I'm at the point where it is time to start the decreases. I'm a bit limited on where I can knit this because I'm trying to be conscious of my brother's allergy to cats and only knit this away from my house. Not as easy as it seems since it requires planning ahead.
I'm also working on some house socks for S. I have some 100% Alpaca worsted weight yarn she bought about a year ago and I've been looking for something to do with it. I've only got 100g so there weren't many patterns that were appealing to me. Well, I finally decided to just do a simple pair of short socks for wearing around the house. I'm just using the Basic Sock Formula from Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules book. So far, a strict pattern just sort of scares me and I like just winging it with the Harlots easy instruction. I am being careful to keep really good notes on the first sock with stitch and row counts so I will hopefully be able to reproduce it for the second sock. Doing this second sock is really making me want to learn how to do two socks on one giant needle per Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. Everyone has been raving about this technique and I find it very appealing to finish both socks at the same time and know they will be the same. Right now, I just can't justify spending the money on the needles I want to try this with. They are very reasonably priced but I have to get every penny sent to the bill collectors right now. Of well. I'll be getting these pretty Harmony needles soon! In the meantime, maybe I'm get the single circular to try out the technique. I've got some sock yarn I'm dying to get going with.
Lastly, I had started a shawl for another gift and I don't like the way it is going. I have some Sensations yarn from Jo-Ann's and I think I'll be spending a bit of time on Ravelry to see what others are doing with this yarn because I really want to use it for the gift. I did see a scarf/shrug thing where you knit a rectangle and then fold it in half and sew opposite corners together to form a twisted loop. Then you can wear it like a scarf/shrug/hood item. It looks pretty good and I think it will wear neat with this yarn. What do you think?
Oh, I almost forgot, I'm making progress on the Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm really liking the colors of the yarn together and it's been pretty fun to knit so far.

Well, I have just a couple more items from my stash to get uploaded to Ravelry and then I'm going to do some pattern searching before working on the socks in front of the TV tonight. I hope you have a good night too. -Z

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gift from Grandma

So, the last time I saw my Grandpa I showed him my knitting journal which I have dedicated to my Grandma. My Grandma was the crafty influence in my life as she was always doing something new. Whether it was quilting, sewing, or making sleighs out of popsicle sticks, I loved to see the new things she made. However, I never really appreciated it all the way I should have when she was around and I didn't even know enough to get her to teach me to knit. Damnit!We always regret things when people are gone, don't we. Anyway, after showing him the journal, he mentioned that he had gotten rid of most of her crafting stuff after she died, but there was still some stuff in the basement and the next time my mom saw him, he gave her a shirt box, taped shut, and said it was for me. When I got home, I opened it up and this is what I found...
Wow, so now I need to work on my embroidery skills to make use of some of this beautiful floss. There are a ton of different colors and even some motif patterns by Simplicity. I cried when I opened the box and saw my grandma's handwriting inside. It amazing how special this little box of thread really is. Thanks Grandpa.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I got my Ravelry invite!!!

My day finally came on Monday. I got my invitation to join Ravelry. I don't know why it took me so long to put my name on the list, but once I did I could barely stand waiting for my invite. I've spent the last 2 nights combing all the features and I'm going to make a good push to get my stuff uploaded and join the knitting online community. In case you're interested, my ID over there is Zillahknits too.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Still Working on Gifts...

I have been a knitting fool lately. I've given myself an ambitious goal when it comes to holiday knitting and I'm making my way through the list. First, I've knitted a number of little coin purses for gifts. I bought a variety of colors of Patons Merino Wool to combine with the Lambs Pride I got earlier in the month and set to knitting. I got kind of clever when it comes to knitting on the road with these. I have a backpack I got from work last year some time and it was just the right size to fit the 5 skeins of yarn standing up in the bottom with the center pull yarn setting on top. Then I just sat the backpack next to my chair and pulled the color I wanted next. I ended up being a really good system and allowed me to change colors whenever I felt like it (pun intended).
I also finished my mom's gift. I got Lion Brand "Incredible" ribbon yarn and wanted to make something special. I had thought to use it for something for my aunt but when my mom saw the yarn, she claimed whatever I was making for herself. So, I went searching for ideas and came across a couple of purse patterns on the Bernat's site using a similar ribbon yarn. Well, I started with their general idea and created this purse for Mom. I love the way it turned out!

I even went to JoAnn's and found some beautiful brocade fabric and lined it too. Who knew I could sew?!?! Really though, the lining was much easier than I thought and I think it really adds something. Mom's already gotten this gift since we won't be together over the holidays and I think she's happy. I made her a matching shrug type thing too but I never got a picture. Maybe she'll send me one after reading this. :)
I've also been working on more baby things. RED is about to become a daddy and his expected little girl needs lots of knitted wear. I did a little Popover Hat and matching booties and sent them up for the Baby Shower last weekend. I used some of the Peaches and Cream yarn I bought in a color named "Pink Lemonade". They turned out cute but I mailed them before I managed to get a picture. Next, I think there is something in the water at work because every time I turn around, someone else is pregnant. Well, this past week I was invited to a Baby Shower for one of the guys in the office and so I whipped up a cute little bib in the same yarn. I love this stuff. I've already got at least 3 more bibs needed in order to keep up with the girls I know are pregnant. It's a good thing they don't take too long!
Lastly, I've started my first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern and I'm working on a Baby Surprise Jacket for RED's little one. I'm using the yarn I bought when we went camping last month and so far, so good.
Oh, one more thing, I just bought my very first skein on Hand Dyed sock yarn. I'm no longer a virgin to the "good" yarns. I found out that the shop I had been stalking on Etsy is actually run by a woman here in the same city with me. So, go right now and buy from her shop at Dyeabolical Yarns on Etsy. Not only is she a very nice person, but the yarn is absolutely beautiful!!

This color is called "Hidden Tiger" and I already know what I want to do with it but I can't talk about it here right now. :)

And finally, I just wanted to post a picture that explains why I like to go camping. (I can't wait til Spring)