Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm back!

click for big
Hi there! I'm back from my trip, but I've not landed mentally yet! Talk to you soon! :o)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Raspberry Rhapsody Scarf

the color in this picture is way off

This will be the last FO to show you before my trip. It's called Raspberry Rhapsody scarf by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer and it's REAL lace! You don't get to relax on the wrong sides, but have to do patterning as well. I adore this little scarf! There will be another one in the future.

the color in this picture comes close to the true color

It's on the short side, but it will have to do, since I only had 3 balls of the yarn. I made it for my godmother, who I will see back home. I haven't seen her in years, and years, so I'm looking forward to it. I hope she likes the color, I don't have a clue what her favorite colores are.

This pattern can be found in the book "The Knitter's Book of Yarn" by Clara Parkes. It has 40 patterns in it, and this is the third pattern I've knit from it. And there are still more I want to do. This book is definitely worth its money.

pattern: Raspberry Rhapsody scarf by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
yarn: elann Baby Cashmere, 60% Baby Alpaca, 30% merino wool, 10% Cashmere, 3 balls ~ 327yds
needles: 4mm (used my KP Harmony straights)
size after blocking: 11" x 50"
start-finish: Oct. 04-10

Since it's written instructions I made myself a sheet with the main body instructions, giving every row a different color and printed out in landscape format, so the instructions could stand in one row for each row. Yes, I need aids like that sometimes, it made it a much more relaxed and fun knit. The pattern is very well written and I especially like the built in border, so clever!

I noticed that one of the pictures of this scarf in the book was taken around the same time of year in a similar setting as my first picture.

Now, I still have to finish my Terttu shawl II. I underestimated knitting a triangular shawl again. The rows are getting long and longer. I'm hoping to finish it by tomorrow, and after a bath and a stretch it should be dry by Tuesday. After that I'm done and ready to go.

I will have to knit the TTL Mystery Socks when I get back. I'm itching for sock knitting real bad.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Preparations ...

No meme needed to share something about me. I hate to go to the hairdresser. O.K. I shouldn't say "hate", it's a too strong a word, but I dislike it profoundly. The last time I went was two years ago. I have long, straight hair, which needs to be colored and occasionally cut. I did that myself, because I could not bare the thought of wasting two hours of my time, and a lot of money at the hairdresser's.

Well, today I went, made an appointment even for it last week. My needs are pretty much straight forward. Two employees, two customers. Should not take too long, right?

The goo was smeared on, I almost dozed off, would have, but the music was so annoying. Without my glasses on, I'm almost blind as a bat. Didn't want to sit with a magazine right in front of my nose, so I was contemplating my life. I got a little nervous, when the alarm went off, and nobody came to wash out the color. While I was waiting, there were other customers to be taken care off.

Anyway, finally I got a wash, and I told her how much she was allowed to take off. Layers in front? Don't touch that!
In the past, I once ran off with wet hair, because I could not take it anymore. After two years, I thought I should be more grown up and wait it out. I did NOT want her to style my hair, just blow dry it, for gods sake! I was tempted to grab the damn thing and do it myself, but hey, I'm almost 44, I can be patient. She burned my skin, and after I winced several times, and TOLD her it was too hot, she put me under that funny thing, where you go, when you got rollers in your hair.
At first it was fine, and immediately my eyes started to fall shut, almost dozed off again, until suddenly it got hot again, and after a second of panic, I finally figured out how to get that thing off my head. I got up, and declared, that I'm done (stick a fork in me).

I went to the counter, got my wallet out, the hairdresser came around and reached for the cover, still tangling from my neck (she was a head shorter than me, but I did not bend my knees). I paid and left. Time spent there - 1 hour and 53 minutes. See you in two years.

Relatives and friends! See what I go through for you? ;o)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My creation

I had to make some tough decisions lately. One, which was easy compared to the other decisions was to frog my Noro 10-stitch blanket! That's right. I love this colorway so much, that I decided to use the yarn for a cardigan for myself. Last night, I ripped. It was almost heart breaking, because this was already lap sized, so cozy, soft and warm, and I wish I could have both. My son asked open mouthed, whether it didn't feel weird to undo so many hours of knitting in such a short time. No, it didn't. I don't think it ever bothered me to frog knitting, after I've decided to do so. I think it's great, that you can do that, if you change your mind.
But don't ask me what cardigan I'll be knitting. I don't know yet, and it will definitely be after my trip to Austria, which is upcoming next week.

On Ravelry I saw some Old Shale Lace Shawls by Evelyn A. Clark, from the Spin Off magazine 2008. There was one I liked a lot, it was the yarn, which made me take notice. I was very disappointed at first, when I saw the shawl in the magazine, so boring, and I would have never knit it just from the pictures in the magazine. But as you can see, I did. I used Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn, one ball only. It's a shawlette rather, but this way it has more chances of being worn as a scarf. I love it! I made a crochet picot bind off, because I liked it. The picot instructions for a knit bind off, sounded like a PIA to me, so I grabbed a hook instead.

pattern: Old Shale Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, Spin Off magazine Summer 2008
yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock, color # 252 S, one ball, had a tiny bit left over yarn
needle: 4.5mm
size after blocking: 24" x 46"
start-finish: Sept. 27 -30

This shawl was fun to knit, I enjoyed it from the very first to the very last stitch. There will be more of this kind.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Phoenix mittens!

My creation

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadians! and (happy Columbus Day to you folks in the US)!

edited: October 14th: A very attentive and critical reader of my blog made me aware of what Columbus Day and it's controversy is all about. Ignorance is never an excuse. And I'm always happy to learn new things. Even if only meaning well, one can step on someone else's feet. I'm not deleting it, so you know what I'm talking about.

I have other, older stuff to show you, but I finished these mittens last night. I call them Phoenix mittens, after the name of the fiber.

I made some basic mittens, no pattern, just of the top of my head. I cast on 54 stitches and knit them on 2.75mm needles. They turned out a little wide around the palm, so I decreased to 50 stitches after I separated for the thumb.

They looked boring to me, so I decided to embroider them a little bit. I'm not good at this, and I don't enjoy it. A million ends to weave in, urgh! They are O.K. but I'm not thrilled. Love the strong colores though. I had lots of left over yarn for at least a pair of baby booties, if I wanted to make some. Not that I do.

Just short and sweet today. Need to enjoy the lovely weather. Sam's limping along fine, enjoying life, Biko is up to no good as always, if left to her own device. No gobble-gobble for us, just plain old chicken.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Aran Island mittens x 2

Hey, thanks for your tips for travel knitting. I think I'll go with lace, since I knit my socks on 5 double point needles, I don't think that would be a good choice. I have several things in mind already. But here are some finished projects:

The first try to knit those mittens failed, due to me not being able to read through the instructions carefully. I used too thick yarn and too large needles. The second and third try turned out O.K. Still, these mittens are huge, even with the right needle size, and stretchy, and I LOVE them! The green ones, are for me, of course. The red ones are for Hannah.

green Aran Island mittens:

yarn: Debbie Bliss DK merino
needles: 3.25mm, DP
pattern: from the book "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski
start-finish: Sept. 09 - 11
modifications. I did a (k3,p1) on the palm side, to hold it a little together. I also didn't like the reverse stockinette look of the thumb, so I made it just stockinette stitch and I like it very much. I LOVE the green color!
This pattern is easy to knit, and memorize, that's why I did a second pair right away, and would do another one, it's that much fun!
I made some minor mistakes, but nothing major.

My creation

red Aran Island mittens:
yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca light, color # 4281, 1 1/2 skeins, 50g = 14yds, 50% alpaca, 50% peruvian wool
needles: 3.25mm
pattern: same as above
start-finish: Sept. 23-26 (O.K. so I knit something else in between the two pairs)

You can clearly see, that the fuzzy alpaca yarn does not show the cables as crisp as the 100% merino yarn does. Still, I like the heathered look of the red, and they are so soft and warm.
I made the same mods as with the green ones, but fewer mistakes. And - I found a different way to make the bobbles, which I liked better, and they are rounder, but smaller.

This happens, when you have headphones on and ignore the asking stare of your puppy. Biko snuck up on the bed, which both of them are not allowed to do without permission (usually they walk up to the couch or bed, turn to look at whoever is in the room and wait for the word "up"). But she's so cute, so she's forgiven. That was before I turned on the heat. I think she was cold, since she was swimming for the last time this year. Now she's fine in her own bed, heat is on, but on low. Might turn it off again, since it's supposed to get warmer towards the weekend. We'll see.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Little Sky

I was hopping into my LYS Serenity Knits the other day, it was last Friday, to be exact, not that it matters. I can hear my son say, "Get there faster!", which is a private joke, one you might understand, if you watched "Friends" as much as we did. It's a Joey thing. Anyway, I needed another circular needle, to give the Nightcap another try. Since I'm casting on fewer stitches, they didn't fit on the other circ I already had. I'm seriously considering getting one of these, because really, I never have the needle the size and length I need it. Thinking about it.
Alright, I'm not always finding exactly what I want/need at my LYS, but the Ladies sure do try. This time I was lucky though, and not just in one way.
The owners Beth and Karen, always nice to talk to gifted me with this new sock yarn, meant for my daughter. Thank you!

Well, the ball band says you need three balls for one pair of socks. What could I do with one ball? After dismissing several options I settled on baby booties. They can still be for my daughter some day, not that she's in need of them right now. :o)

I was looking through patterns on ravelry, when it hit me, that there were Baby booties in Cat Bordhi's "New Pathway" book. Of course! I always wanted to give them a try. So I started with Lesson sock number 1 in the book: Little Sky socks!

You know I love Cat's designs. They were such fun to knit. The yarn is a fun yarn too. I can see myself wearing a pair of socks around the house. They are fuzzy, very soft and warm. While knitting them I thought it would be nice to knit a baby sweater with this yarn too.

The yarn is made of 39% new wool, 61% Polyamide. One ball is 50g/125m, and you should use 3-4mm needles. I used 4mm DP. Boy the first round was hard. I have only 4mm metal DP's and they slipped out of my grip, and through the loops more than once. But after that is was fun, and easy. It also says on the ball band, you can wash it in the washing machine and even put it into the dryer.

It took not quite half the ball for these babies, so I will knit another pair soon.

Oh, did I mention it's called "Regia Softy Color"? The only off-putting thing here would be the prize. With $ 9.99 + tax a ball, it's a bit pricey for me. A pair of socks would be over $ 30. On the other hand I imagine they would keep longer than 100% merino wool socks.
In any case, thank you Beth and Karen for providing me with yarn to have fun with! :o)
BTW: I can't decide what project to take for my trip to Austria. What would be a good one, for travelling, sitting at the airport etc.? Any experience? Any ideas?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Do I really need another blanket?

Not really. Am I crazy or what? I would really NEED a sweater right about now, but I haven't even started one! I DO have several knit blankets however, a couple in the works, and now I've started another mosaic blanket. I've had this on my mind for, oh say, over a year now. I've bought the yarn for it, after I finished my fitst mosaic blanket, and yesterday, I finally cast on for the first square. The pattern is from the magazine "Family Circle Easy Knitting, Holiday 2003, pattern # 12. I made myself a graph of the design, so I can work it "my way". It's a little different in the original pattern.

I'm using Jojoland Rhythm for the multicolored yarn, and Jojoland Wool Yarn for the natural white one. I'm going to knit not separate squares, but bands of squares one on top of each other, maybe 8 or 10, and later sew those bands together. Anything to reduce the sewing part.

I'm wondering if I should rip this square out though. I'm using 4.5mm needles, which is appropriate for this yarn, but with the slip stitch pattern it makes it stiff like a board. Can't say the wool is soft, rather scratchy, but good enough for a blanket, and I prefer wool over acrylic. So there's something to think about. I'll not put a lot of time into this one just yet. Want to work on the lace shawl and the Noro blanket first.

Will I ever knit a sweater for myself? It's getting cold, and it would be nice to have one. It's just not the same to tuck a blanket around one's body, while letting the dogs outside to pee, no, not the same. One day, I guess, I will muster enough courage to cast on for something more practical.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October Mystery Sock Clue # 1 - Cuff

I stumbled upon Kirstin's blog entry last night, and decided, that it's time for another mystery knitalong. The last one I participated in was almost a year ago, hosted by Mona Schmidt. This should be fun. I'm going to cast on for the second cuff right away, and while waiting for the next clue, I'll have lots to do. Just to remind you (and me), what I've got on my needles right now:

1. Noro 10-stitch blanket (knit on it almost every night)
2. SWS 10-stitch blanket (on hold)
3. Terttu Shawl II by Lankakomero (I LOVE this shawl!)
4. Bliss entrelac blanket (scroll down a bit) - it's on time out. I wanted to rip it, but I'm more than halfway done, so I'll finish it someday.

And - I'm happy to say, that I'm back in the spinning groove! I navajo plied the Light Coopworth I've spun some time ago. It's for the mittens I wanted to spin for (and I will finish spinning for this project!). It's the second skein with ~ 245yds. With two of those that's more than enough for mittens.

I had fun spinning Phoenix. I didn't mind what the outcome would be, I just had to get back into spinning. The skein is still a little damp, and it's a little over twisted, but not too much. I've got ~ 366yds, 2-ply yarn. It will stripe, if knit in the round for mittens or socks. It's not going to be socks though, maybe mittens. I'm looking forward to knit with this yarn. It's superwash merino, and very soft. On a grey, rainy day, looking at this yarn makes me happy.

I've already started spinning the chocolate and cherries fiber! Can't wait to see how that will come out.

Lots to do, so I better get going.