Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Warm wrists

I was going to draw names for the winner already today, but I think I will give people one more week to get their names on the list. I know I have more readers than that! And mom, this would be a good time to learn how to leave comments! ;) Anybody who didn't comment on the last post, go ahead and leave your name down there, and you might get lucky and win some yarn.

This leads me to another subject -it's interesting to see these ups and downs in then (knitting) blog world. Ups and downs in posting and in commenting, how they vary with seasons and holidays. Lately I myself have been exploring other blogs, ones that I don't normally read. I have found a couple of amazing ones. One is this cupcake blog. Yes, cupcakes! I didn't know people blog about cupcakes, but then again, I've gotten weird looks and questions from other people, when I told them I have a knitting blog... I've been asked why anybody would want to read about knitting, and this particular person was not trying to be mean or anythig, they were just honestly wondering. The other new blog I found is this Japanese fiber artist's blog. Her English is not perfect, but her art is just unreal! Make sure you browse the archives!

The sweater that I had in the works (still do) a couple of posts ago was the Bell sleeve jacket (number 15) from the Holiday Vogue Knitting from last year. I finished the back and the front pieces, but then felt like I needed something that didn't require for me to read the chart or instructions constantly. But first I needed to free up one of my 2.5 mm circulars, so I had to finish the Pomatomus wrist warmers:

I really like the texture of this pattern, but it was such a pain to knit with all those twisted stitches (and this is just my opinion ;) that I don't think I'll use it again. Very pretty, but too much pain for the gain. Oh, well. The yarn in the background of the first picture is OnLine Supersocke in Sierra, and it's my next brainless project, plain stockinette stitch socks. I really like the color(s) of this yarn -it's "oxblood" with some moss green and some lighter color speckles. By the way, oxblood doesn't sound quite as poetic as "chartreuse", but I guess it makes sense. :) But better colors of that next time, and maybe a progress update on the sweater. (I really don't want to call it the oxblood sweater... I'll have to come up with a better nick name for it...)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

a year in review

This is kind of embarrassing, but… I managed to miss my own blog anniversary! I didn’t completely forget, but I just didn’t check the date early enough, and the actual anniversary passed already. And I was going to make a big deal out of it and everything… oh, well. I’ll just have to do it now!

Happy birthday my blog! :)

It has been so much fun sharing my work with you, and starting to get comments has been just thrilling to me! I’m so glad I started a blog, and even though time might be scarce sometimes, I try to keep a fairly regular schedule of posting, because that’s what I appreciate in others’ blogs, too.

I wanted to reflect back at the things I made during the year, and especially all the new things I learned. I usually try to incorporate something new in each project I start so as not to get bored with the process. I rarely knit the same thing twice and even if I do, I try to do it a little differently the second time. Here are some of the new things I’ve learned/done this past year:

A lace scarf (believe it or not, I had never made one before)

Provisional cast on

Provisional cast off
Kitchener stitch

Toe up socks

Short row heel

Dutch heel


Dyeing yarn using different methods

Twist cables and frilly cast on in the Latvian mittens

I-cord edging

Twisted stitch ribbing


Swirl knitting

Attaching a zipper to a knitted cardigan

Felting in the washer

Beaded stitch markers

Crochet cast off

Three needle cast off

Slip stitch patterns

Quite the list, huh? I’m not sure if I can find as many new techniques to learn this year, but I’ll try! If it weren’t for all the knitting blogs out there, I would still be knitting all my projects using the few basic techniques I learned years ago. Reading blogs has taught me so much, and I am a firm believer in the power of the global community! And not only have I learned new things, but I’ve also gotten new friends that I otherwise would never have met.

To add a little excitement, I want to give away a prize, and I want to do it by the way of a contest. Sort of. The task is to vote for your favorite FO (finished object) from the past year, and we’ll see, who can match mine. Now, I know that those, who know me well have the advantage of being better able to guess what my favorite piece of work might be, so I will draw the winner of some hand dyed sock yarn from all the commenters (heh, that word doesn’t pass the spell check…), not just the ones that guessed right. So if you haven’t been reading this blog since the beginning, browse through the archives and find your favorite thing! In my next post I will reveal what was my favorite thing to knit.

Monday, March 12, 2007

color fixation

Does it ever happen to you that you find yourself obsessed with a color? Maybe a color that isn't your usual choice, but something a little outside your comfort zone? This happens to me every now and then. I seem to pick things in that particular color quite unconsciously, until I've had my fix. Then I can move onto other colors again. This time the color is this deep reddish brown, or brownish red, I can't even decide which to call it. And I don't know one of those fancy color names for it, like "chartreuse" or "turquoise" and the like (I'm terrible at those... for me it's red, dark red, light red, bright red, orangy red, bluish red and so on.) I realized after I got home that the Cascade 220 I bought on my trip matched with the sock yarn I had also just bought, as well as with my new shoes:
Later on I noticed that it also was the color of the purse I dug out and wanted to start using again. We'll see if this will extend to my whole wardrobe, or if this will be enough for now. :)

By the way, I'm in love with Cascade 220! It is yummy soft and sooo nice to knit. And not terribly expensive, either, and the amount of colors that are available is just mind boggling. I've started this (actually just finished the back piece, but it's not blocking yet, just pinned down for the picture):

Can anybody guess what it is? Here's a hint: the original (from a knitting magazine) is knitted in the same yarn in a lavender blue.

Thank you all for your comments again lately. I'm sorry for not being more diligent about replying to you, but lately I haven't had a lot of time to devote to blogging. I wish I did. A lot of the comments also don't link to your e-mail, so even if I wanted to, I can't always reply. Nevertheless, all comments are greatly appreciated and are very important to me. Thank you!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A very good trip...

I just got back from Chicago, where I attended a conference with a coworker for a few days. A "Nerd conference", according to my friend. :D This still cracks me up, and we made fun of it every day of our trip. Weather was lousy both there, as well as back here, so I got quite a bit of knitting done. Delays on airports, flights, spending evenings in the hotel room (we're nerds, remember), and an extra day of travel because of the snow storm in the upper Midwest.

I finished the blue stripy vest just on time for the end of the yarn diet, and actually wore it to class on Thursday.
Ta-daa!!I am very happy with the fit, and the thickness of it is ideal. It's thinner than the Argyle vest, and not as hot.

I also started a pair of Pomatomus socks in one of the Trecking colors I just ordered. I LOVE the color, but the sock leg turned out too tight, so I decided to turn them into wrist warmers. I neede pretty ones anyway, so these will definitely fit the bill:
It's a crappy picture, but trust me, they are really very pretty!

I also went yarn shopping (in March, mind you! I didn't break the rules of the yarn diet.) at Loopy Yarns, that was a very nice little yarn shop with a very nice selection of yarn and not too high prices. I'll have to post about my purchases at another time, as it's getting way too late, and I need some shut-eye.