Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's snowing outside and I want to be outside with it

I am at work, though, and just itching to get out in all that lovely whiteness. I hope to gather some work to do from home and skip out of here early. I'd love to beat the sleet.

I tried on my cowl (Wave) and was able to knit it long enough to go over my head. In fact, I wore it to work yesterday and today. Looks chic and keeps me toasty, neck and head.

The Maryland Terrapins socks are creeping up the leg. I have to decide when to add the writing - soon, I think, and chart that out. If I get out of here early today I hope to get photos of that and the finished cowl taken.

The latest vest attempt - casting on instead of increasing - has done the trick to get the number of stitches I need as fast as I need them. I am knitting away, loving the color changes as I go, using Fibonacci sequencing. Soon I hope to have enough knitted that I can take a photo and you will be able to see what I am knitting. LOL.

Fun Fur. I don't really like fun fur, but I brought a scarf made with it to go into a donation box during the holidays and several of the secretaries in the office ooohed and ahhhed over it. I decided to go ahead and make some for them, and so I knit on Fun fur scarves sometimes at night. It is the perfect thing to knit on when I am listening to an audiobook and feeling too tired to even remember to do increases or decreases for a gusset. I can even close my eyes and knit by feel if I go slowly enough. So, 3 are complete and I have only about 4 inches to go on the 4Th. I have yarn for 2 more and I think they will be completed over the next 2 weeks or so, though I haven't set a deadline for myself. I think I will make several ladies in the office happy and that's a good thing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Busy, busy week

Work has been very busy and one of my study patients has been having one complication after another. It's very sad - she's only 32 and not likely to live to 33. She has 2 children and loving parents who will be lost without her.

I haven't been able to get much knitting done because of work, but what I've done has gone well. I started a cowl with that yummy wool/silk blend I purchased in southern Maryland. 

Look at this close up of the colors - aren't they great? Nice and deep without being dark or glaring.

The pattern is Wave

It's an easy pattern to knit, with short rows making the purl rows gently wave up and down. I have to put it on waste yarn next and see whether, if I make it longer, it will go over my head should I want that. If not, I will cast off and make fingerless mitts with the remainder of the yarn.

I started some Maryland Terrapins socks for my son in red, white, black and gold. Maybe I can get photos in the daylight tomorrow. It is time to figure out which toe up heel I want to use for these socks 'cause the first foot is there.

I came to a screeching halt on my side to side shades of grey vest (isn't that a nice run on sentence/descriptor?). I didn't like the increase edge. I showed it to Karen last night at the Needle Exchange at the LYS and she suggested that I cast on 2 stitches at the edge instead of increasing. I will try that, and if it doesn't work I will have to come up with another plan for this yarn. I've already tried 3 other methods of increasing and they all looked worse than what I have now, which is not acceptable. I can see the vest- I just have to figure out how to make it happen. I have the stripe sequence worked out and that looks  just as I had hoped. I know what shaping I want - V neck starting just under the bust, and about mid-thigh length. Most likely an I cord edging to remove (or at least limit) the curling of the stockinette stitch body. *All* I have to now  is make it happen. LOL.

I think my next project will be a shawl. I've been feeling the urge and the package of lace yarn that I won has made that urge stronger .....

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I won!

I entered a blog contest that Joan was having at the Fairy Godknitter a while back and the package I received far exceeded any hopes I might have had about what I won. I didn't do anything to win except post a comment and, of course, be a lucky random winner. The prizes! WOW!
We'll start with Dream in Color Baby - 700 yds of lace weight Pansy Go Lightly. I have no idea yet what this will become, but I am sure that in time it will tell me. 

Next we have a cone of Zephyr in Aegean Blue . I have no idea what yardage this cone holds, but it is 329 grams, and I know that's at least enough to make one very large (circular or square) shawl or two "regular" shawls. I can't wait to sit with my lace patterns and browse.  My SIL might just get something knitted with this yarn - she will look stunning in this color.

Next on stage we have 900 yds of Yarn Place Graceful lace yarn.  I am very anxious to see how the colors develop as I knit with this one.

This yarns feels yummy - it is Piece of Vermont. Merino, bamboo and nylon in the Forest Light colorway. This may well become a gift for my mother. She'll love it.

And last but not least is 1375 yds of Skacel merino lace and a soft green with a hint of blue in it. This might well become the Peacock Feathers Shawl Predictable, I know, considering the color, but I like it.

Joan, thank you again for the wonderful prizes. I was finally able to take daylight photos to show the colors properly.  I will enjoy every one of them. Until I knit with them, they sit in my living room so I can look and pet whenever I want. LOL

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's mid January!

Wow! I had not realized that it's been so long since I posted. Life got in the way. I did actually write, or at least start two other posts. I just wasn't happy with what I wrote, so I deleted one and may use bits and pieces of the other at some time in the future.

First, activities - we did not go to NYC on New Years Day as we had planned. It was very cold and just didn't seem worth the drive. It was actually much warmer than it is today - I feel for the people who have decided to try to get a glimpse of our new President.

Karen and I have been doing much better with our commitment to walk regularly. We did have schedule conflicts and illness/injury (mild, but enough to get in the way) to deal with but after walking only twice in two weeks we made a commitment to "be better". Today will be a real test. It is 5 degrees outside. We will be walking in the afternoon, so it will be somewhat warmed, but still, it is cold outside. When we walked last night (I think it was about 15 degrees) we went numb pretty quickly. Maybe that will make the hills on the trail hurt less?

I went to Atlanta for an investigator meeting for a new study that I will be working on in the next few months. I was only there for 1.5 days and the hotel was near the airport, so I didn't even get to check out a yarn store while I was there. Bummer. And I missed the Needle Exchange at the LYS in order to go!

We had planned (Karen, Nancy and I) to go into Baltimore today to browse a bead shop - Beadazzled - but changed our minds when Nancy pointed out that the Obama train would be causing all kinds of traffic tie ups and road closures in the city. We'll try again another weekend. Thank you, Nancy for being thorough. You saved us a lot of trouble, I think.

Knitting progress has been good. I finished my Lace ribbon scarf. It still needs to be blocked, but the knitting is complete. I am very pleased with the results.

I finished and blocked the Leaf lace scarf made with Silk and Ivory yarn. I *love* it.

I finished my Trekking travel socks and wore them yesterday. I tried to take pictures this morning but it's too cold to go out and I couldn't get a good shot inside.

I started and finished a neck warmer for my brother. He asked for a scarf that would keep his neck warm and no wool - it itches. I don't think he'll be able to tell that this one is Shelridge Farms superwash wool. There will be no ends dangling and that will be much safer while he works. I am pretty certain that he'll throw it into the washer and dryer, too, so alpaca was not a possibility. The photo isn't very good, but it is a nice red color and has seed stitch bands across/around the neck. It is long enough that he can pull it up over his nose if he needs to but soft enough that he can keep it bunched around his neck and it will be warm and soft. I hope he likes it.

I am on the second sleeve of Bob's white cotton sweater - the short row sleeve cap is almost complete, then it will be round and round for a while. No pictures - too boring.

The double knitting scarf that I started while in southern Maryland (my last post) makes slow progress. I have to work on it when undistracted and alone so I can count. I thought that skill was much better established than it appears, at least when I work on this scarf. Still, you can see the pattern developing. Second side -

And first side. I can't call them right or wrong sides in double knitting. It just doesn't make sense to me.

I frogged the fingerless mitts that I started oh, so many months ago. I was trying to adapt the pattern to avoid having stockinette on the inner arm side - I wanted patterning all around. I was able to do that but was never able to come up with a graceful way to transition back to either ribbing or stockinette for the palm. Continuing the stitch pattern with lace and cables wasn't comfortable, and I couldn't figure a way to continue just the lace pattern with a graceful transition either. So, frog pond time. Maybe I'll just knit them as written. What a concept.

I just started a pair of socks for my son in MD Terrapins colors (red, black, white). I found out that I need some gold color yarn and don't have the right color. I think I will try to over-dye some yellow rather than purchase a skein for as little as I need. That will be a fun thing to do this weekend. Since it's too cold outside to even think about doing the dyeing outside, I will take myself to the grocery store to look for some Koolaide in a color that might work.

Once my sock knitting project was put on hold until the gold color yarn is located or created, I needed another project to work on. I didn't want a huge project, I wanted something that I could complete in weeks rather than months. I started looking for a pattern to make a cowl or neck warmer with the yarn I purchased at Crazy For Ewe. It is called Ellyn Coopers Yarn Sonnets Gemini, and the color is Khaki Blues. It is 50/50 wool/silk.
I chose one pattern, knitted my swatch, cast on and knitted about 20 rows, then decided that it didn't look as good as I had hoped. It was OK but I wanted more than OK. Today will be spent (partially) finding just the right thing. It is beautiful yarn, in addition to feeling so yummy that I could almost not knit it and lie naked upon it instead. almost.

Well, I am off to look for a good pattern for my yummy yarn, and to start some laundry. Karen and I will walk this afternoon, once the temperature has gotten into the double digits. Later today I hope to have photos of a prize I won. Yes, I won a prize. That is so rare, and I am very excited about this one - it's all lace weight yarn! I plan to go outside and get daylight photos, since the flash photos I took the other night did not show the colors correctly. Have a great day.