Tuesday, January 27, 2009

tangled up

As too many socks make you go blind (and there are more to come!), I thought I'd break up this week's posting sprint with news of a sweater - the Tangled Yoke cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall 2007. Tweedy goodness from Rowan...

I have swatched successfully - just two off on the row gauge, which is plenty fine with me - and WASHED Mlle. Swatch as well.

This is a highly important step in gauge-swatch-making, which I've never done before. I learned my lesson might well on my very last adult sweater project: washing the swatch is really super-duper important, because otherwise you might get a sweater that grows in water like nothing you have ever seen. (And no one else has seen the sweater either, because I put it on, cried, lifted the hem from around my knees, and folded it up and stashed it away in the cedar chest.)

So: I've knit a swatch, achieved gauge, washed the swatch, still been pleased with size of swatch, and now need to cast on somewhere around 200 stitches. That's a lot, and will likely be on hold until the weekend when I can sit and do it all at once. And then the knitting begins: a me-sized sweater on #4 needles. I might be nutso on this one, because that's a lot of stitches. But in finishing the sweater, I'll knock over a mile off my stashed yarn total. (Yes, I count my yarn in miles.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

warming hubby's feet

Hubby is wearing some new socks today.

Fun colors - just enough to keep things interesting, but very suitable for Hubby socks. It's Brown Sheep Wildfoote yarn, in Brown Sugar. One skein had flecks of green, but the other did not... even though they were the same dye lot. The second skein also had different patterning than the first, and I think you can see the difference between the two. But they are socks, and I think that they came out well enough. The yarn had been marinating in my stash since December 2006, and it was high time for it to get knit up.

(Post #2 of the week! I'm gonna do it!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

tap, tap: anyone there?

I spoke with two friends today, and both made comments about my lack of blog action in the past couple of weeks. And it's true, I just haven't had the drive to communicate about my knitting lately. But hearing that my readers are eager for more updates was a bit of a shove in the right direction.

The mornings are relatively chilly here in Portland, usually hovering just above freezing. My double-thick wool mittens aren't really necessary, nor are the polarfleece gloves, since I'm just walking and waiting for a bus. These mittens (Ann Budd's book of knitting patterns) are thin, but provide just enough warmth and coverage. They fit easily into my pockets when I get on the bus, and I'm quite happy with how they turned out.

I think I started them over a year ago, and got as far as the ribbing, and a couple of thumb gusset increases. They were so quick to make that I felt rather silly having them hang around as long as they did. The yarn is Diakeito Diamusee Fine - a Japanese import - and the color changes are subtle enjoyable to watch while it moves through your fingers. I got the yarn years ago in Cold Spring, NY at a shop that's sadly closed.

OK: I will pledge to post each day this week. There's actually a lot of knitting progress to show, s here goes!

Friday, January 09, 2009

no time

I've been driving to work this week - not my choice, for sure. I haven't driven on a daily basis since my first job out of college, which would be 12 years ago. While taking the bus or light rail has it's annoyances, and finding street parking in my part of downtown Portland is a breeze (it's fun to see how close I can get to the office door!), I really miss my reading and knitting time. I haven't knit all week. It's been busy at the office and for the social calendar, and now I'm just wiped out. There's more busyness tomorrow, and a friend is in town, and then there's the amazing class I'm taking with Brooklyn Tweed Jared on Saturday... and I'm probably not going to leave home on Sunday.

(Coda to my Christmas tree-cutting escapades: in order to not pay more to have the tree taken away for composting, I had to cut it into three pieces so it would fit in the composting bins we get from the city. It looked rather disturbing, chopped up like that. But the saw I borrowed from our landlord was much better than the one at the tree farm. Note: bring your own next year.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

the time has come to talk of many things

Resolutions! I like 'em, Hubby hates hearing about 'em, so this is my outlet.

1. Be highly judicious in yarn purchases this year. (Already making progress on this one: I did not buy a sweater's worth of Lorna's Laces Organic Wool at the 20% off sale, because I have other sweaters that I'd like to knit that I've already purchased the yarn for.)

2. If the light rail train isn't at my stop when I arrive, walk along its path (on the sidewalk, of course) to the next stop, look back for the train, and repeat if necessary.

3. Have lots of projects going at once, so I can always grab the right, fun thing for the moment.

4. Try for more high points, and fewer low points, than 2008.

5. Learn to crochet.

6. Start playing the piano again. (Got a fantastic deal on a keyboard on eBay. It'll be here next week.)

I think that's it. I have two socks that are begging for attention, and a mitten to start. #3 is looking better and better...