Monday, January 28, 2008

Finishing up

At Stash Down 2008 we could determine our own goals for February. Though there are plenty of things I would like to accomplish (does this month has extra hours, please?) I decided to go with finishing up WIPs. Or UFOs. I'm not one who easily names a project an UFO. I officially have only 2, and I'm unsure wether I'll finish them.

Anyway, finishing up. Here are 2 projects I recently finished, one had been on the needles quite a while!

Boyfriend socks 01

Pattern : For better or worsted socks
Yarn : Jawoll colour action, and some Annell for the contrast
Needles : 2,5mm addi turbo
Started : June or July 2007
Finished : January 2008

Modifications : this pattern is originally written for worsted weight yarn, but as you can see I knitted them out of fingering. I just did more repeats! I used the reinforcement thread from the Jawoll together with the Annell green yarn for the heels and toes!

Boyfriend likes them. He seems to like my handknitted socks as he often asks for them and seems to wear them a lot! :D Doesn't ask me to knit them though.

Following FO hasn't been on the needles that long, but I'm still happy it's finished.

Nightshade gloves

Pattern : Mermaid gloves, based on the famous Pomatomus socks
Yarn : Spunky Club yarn Nightshade (Tough Sock yarn)
Needles : 2mm addi turbo
Started : November 2007
Finished : January 2008

I used the idea for these but no pattern, I made it all up. I used 2mm needles and the original stitch count (72). I love knitting on finer needles! These were quick and easy, but I remember putting them aside to knit the Christmas socks. I made them extra long to decently cover my wrists. I'm really happy with them! Oh, and I have plenty of yarn left, might be able to knit a pair of socks from it (or something alike!).

So this is it for now. This morning I put some yarn in my bag to cast on for another project. The reason is that I don't have many projects that are really portable. I have a pair of gloves (on the thumb of the first one) but I realized when finishing up the mermaid gloves that knitting gloves on a train is not that handy. Especially the fingers that is. The socks I have on the needles right now are all to big to be really portable (knee-highs with colourwork, so heavy socks) so I think I'll be casting on for an easy pair of socks today!

But I have to say my urge to finish FOs is quite strong! :D

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some spinning

I'm actually happy I have a riding lesson sheduled this afternoon and have to go out of the house. Though I normally prefer being inside and knit on a Sunday, right now I don't want to be here. The boyfriend got home with a little to much alcohol in his blood and he's extremely annoying again. I can't stand him when he's like this, and everything about him annoys me on days like this. It sounds horrible and it probably is. It's only when he's drunk. But again, he shouldn't be like this, right? Good thing I do love this guy.

Ok, some spinning! I did spin a little during the holidays, but since my wheel has been very silent again. I just don't get around to it anymore. Weeks are busy and so are weekends. And when I'm at home I'm often to tired to get anything done. :(

First off, something that has been on-going for months. I don't even remember when I started spinning this, ages ago. It's a handblend from me. I dyed merino and mohair, 100gr of each, and then carded it together. It was my first real card-job and I could do better in the future, but it was ok (I have one of those hand-handled carders, not an electric one, and it's hard going that way!). It sat on the spools for quite a while. Well, about 50gr of it. And then I picked it up again. Due to the long absence of spinning it's far from regular. But it's ok.

Handspun - Merino/mohair

It totals about 660m to 200gr, so that's sport weight. It varies though, and some spots are more laceweight.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to knit with it. Maybe a lacy type shawl. We'll see.

This one I'm actually very happy about! It's the November Fiber of the Spunky Club. It's 100% Falkland wool called Pie for everyone.

Handspun - Pie for everyone

2ply, fingering weight, 416meters to 100gr (well actually 4oz so a bit more then 100gr). Yay!!! First time I got it this fine really! Hope to keep going this way! :D

Of course there might be more thicker yarn in the future. I'm not sure yet. I love spinning this fine but I think I'll need some instant gratification every now and then.

Now hopefully I'll be able to knit some of this up! :D

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Knit-a-longs and such!

Well, I joined quite a few KAL last year and I don't know I did that great. But when I read on Sweetpea's blog about the Stash Knit Down 2008 (Ravelry group) I was in! :D

I have a huge stash and it's not getting much smaller. Sometimes, when I go through it, I do think I have to much yarn. but other times I don't care that much. I always think that if poor times come along at least I'll be able to knit. And so many people have other addictions. I mean, my boyfriend luckily doesn't comment on my knitting, but if he ever should I should only remind him of the amounts of money he pays for bikes he hardly rides. He once bought a hometrainer and he sometimes rides it, but of course it has all kinds of faults why he can't ride it. Well, silly excuses.

So, we all have our downfalls and I never have been a saver. So me joining something like this isn't about not buying yarn. I don't want to commit to not buy yarn, as the risk is I'll be only buying more yarn. Or I fail soon in the game as I just want to sooth myself with a nice skein of yarn. And I cannot imagine resisting to the yarn my LYS lady has for me. Most of what she has in are one of a time possibilities and I don't want to have to say no.

What I do want to do is knit more of the yarn I have. There's so much wonderfull yarn in there and I want to be able to wear it. Plus as I'm always cold, I can't have enough warm wool to isolate my body! :D

The first goal of the group is knitting a mile in January. Hard thing for me. I knit constantly but due to the huge amount of stuff on the needles I never finish much up. that can be an added goal. Reduce the WIPs and work more on one project, so that I finish more. It's boring to work on one project but on the other hand it's also more motivating when you finish something.

So I'm knitting things on my needles, trying to finish them and counting the yardage to my goal. I'm working on my Mermaid gloves (based on the famous Pomatomus socks). Finished one yesterday, only one more to go. They'll be very snug! I already have plans to knit a pair out of heavy wool. I'm now making them fingerless gloves, but those out of heavy wool might be fingerless mitts. I wear them over gloves when I'm biking and it's really cold (not that we'll have more "really cold" this year, we didn't even have snow! But we're already moving towards spring weather .... I truly hate this Belgian weather more then you can imagine!).

I also finally started a sweater for the boyfriend (or did I mention that already?). I'm knitting Jared's Cobblestone from Interweave Knits Fall 2007 (now also available in the Knitting Daily store!). He has been whining for a sweater lately. I hope I can finish it in a decent time but I haven't knitted on it for a while. We'll see. The yarn is ok.

Saturday I started the Modern Quilt Wrap from Folk Style (don't have the book yet though it's on my wishlist!). I'm using some of the mohair I can get at my LYS and I'm actually quite happy with the pattern so far! I'm trying to avoid seeming and weaving in ends and it's going quite well!

There are of course more projects on the needles. Well, there are quite a few FOs, but I'm counting only those that are actively on the needles right now. A pair of nice cashmere gloves, and a hat that's to be felted. And a scarf in black yarn as I need a few nice black scarves. Tons of UFOs. But the three I mentionned here are the ones that I will try to add to this months challenge!

Spinning soon with some pictures! (weather hasn't been very picture-friendly lately).

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A new year!

Happy New Year everyone!
Hope you all had a good time during the holidays. I decided to take a little brake from blogging, and well, maybe almost everything! I emptied my head and just did very little, which was just what I needed! :D I'm not looking forward to work on Monday after 2 weeks off, but I think I have the energy again to make it. I do hope I'll manage to keep more to myself and get less involved in all the drama among the colleagues and all, but we'll see.
Anyway, there has been knitting! I managed to finish up all but one pair of Christmas socks. I didn't make it on the socks for my mom. She was more dissapointed then I thought she would be. But I handed her the socks today and it's ok. I just didn't make it. I also only have 3 pictures and am missing a picture of the 4th pair, the pair of my grandmother. Those were finished only minutes before the gifting and though I mentionned having to take a picture of them I never did. I might try to do that tomorrow when I go to visit her, if I manage to remember.
So first of all, the pair for my uncle :

Uncles Christmas socks

Yarn : a local sock yarn from my LYS (need to check the label), 2 strands held together (one solid, one variegated)

Needles : 3mm for the ribbing, 3.5mm for the sock

Pattern : my basic top down with long heel and dutch toe.

These turned out so great! I need to get some more of this yarn for a pair for the boyfriend, they seem very solid and good socks! And they didn't take very long either.

Aunts socks :

Aunts Christmas socks

Yarn : 100% merino yarn (pink) and 100% superwash wool (white)

Needles : 3.5mm addi turbo

Pattern : fair isle pattern on the leg is from a pattern book I have, beside that it's a regular top down without ribbing, long heel and dutch toe

The smallest feet I had to knit for! And they fit perfectly. I only regret using the pink yarn as it's most likely not machine washable!

Moms socks :

Mums Christmas socks

Yarn : Merino 100 (some Italian yarn)

Needles : 3.25mm circs

Pattern : Pearls from Socken-Kreativ-Liste (german yahoo group)

First real beaded knit (except maybe for a lace shawl) and happy about them. rest of the sock is my standard sock recepy. Only made it less repeats as the original pattern was written for fingering weight yarn!

The 4th pair of socks was for my grandmother, a pair of anklets knitted on 3.5mm needles holding 2 threads together, both Annell Super Extra yarn (2 left over balls, as I returned all the rest I had to my LYS).

So that makes my total for the 54PairPlunge at 22. Still way behind and I won't catch up. I'll be happy if I make half of it!

Just before New Year I also decided I wanted a new sweater, and I knitted this one in 3 days :

Sweater - front

(sorry for the missing top of the head, but apart from that this is the best picture the boyfriend took! In the end it's the sweater that counts, right?)

Pattern : V-neck sweater from Phildar Autumn/Winter 2007

Yarn : one strand of 100% superwash merino and one strand of 100% mohair held together, both brown

Needles : 8mm knitpicks options

Modifications : I knitted the lower body in the round (instead of the 2 blocks the pattern tells you to knit and just sew them together afterwards). The top were just 2 retangles put together. I think it looks pretty need!

Sweater - back

The back is hold "together" with a strand of yarn like a shoelace! I should have done it higher up cause the sides keep slipping from my arms, but I don't mind much.

The yarn is superwarm and nice. I like it a lot! It was a quick and easy knit and I know this style is very popular and the sweaters like this in the store are quite expensive. It should have been a bit better knitted, the ribbing is not as good as I wanted it too, but it was a fast knit and nobody seems to notice this isn't storebought, so it's not that bad.

So the pair of socks for my mom was my first FO for 2008! I hope to have quite a bit more. I casted on a sweater for my boyfriend after lots of whining from him. It's cobblestone from Interweave. Hope it'll be a quick and easy knit, though it'll involve some math as my row gauge is off (stitch gauge is ok so I didn't want to switch needles, then that would have been off and that would have been more math again!).

I have some spinning to show but that'll be for a next post. No resolutions for 2008, can't keep them anyway. But I have some loose goals I want to reach. We'll see. Shortterm though.

Happy knitting all!