Swap-O-Rama

August 31, 2007 at 11:24 pm | Posted in knitalong, knitting, swap | 6 Comments

The last week has actually felt a little cooler than the previous several weeks and so my knitting has perked up a bit. It’s tough to knit with a heat index of 116 outside. But, although it will be warm straight through October or November, I’m unrealistically hopeful that the worst is behind us. My dear Lucy has been enjoying the heat though!

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She was investigating a turtle that was crawling around our back hill.

So anyway…my recent knitting news..my Knit Picks order came in on Saturday!

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I was extremely happy to add two new books to my knitting library. I very rarely purchase books because they tend to have only a couple of patterns I would use. However I’ve been eyeballing these for a long time and they both have several patterns I’ve added to my ever growing “to do” list. Big Girl Knits also has some really good information on sweater construction which will be great since I’ve not attempted a sweater yet. I also got 2 balls of Knit Picks Dancing and 2 more sets of DPN’s. Now I’ll have the proper DPN’s to start the Anemoi Mittens.

In my last post I mentioned I’d joined a few swaps. Along with the Harvest Sock Swap, I’ve also joined the Ravelry Scarf Exchange. Unlike previous exchanges I’ve joined, this one is not anonymous and it’s up to the swappers to determine the secrecy level of their exchanges. While I’ve already contacted my swap-ee, Kyle, I’ve decided to keep the scarf a secret. I’m itching to post a picture because I’m already a good 2 feet into it, but all I’ll say about it is that I’ve tried a new knitting technique to make it, and I really hope he likes it.

I’ve also joined the Christmas Around the World Knitters Swap. This one should be fun because one of the things you are supposed to send is something that reflects your local Christmas tradition. Our family recipe for Swedish cookies will definitely be included in this package. Christmas is my most favorite time of year so I can’t wait to meet my match and start working on their treats!

Speaking of Christmas, I joined the Christmas KAL in order to try and stay organized with my Christmas Knitting, which is coming along ok. However, I have to take back one completed item from my list. I had originally completed one pair of felted clogs. Unfortunately last night my feet were really really cold so I gifted them to myself! So, I’m back to 0 completed out of 3 sets of clogs.

Lastly and most recently I joined one more KAL I’m probably the most excited about and that is the Secret of the Stole on Yahoo groups. It’s very similar to Mystery Stole 3, which I missed, where small sections of a mystery chart will be released on a weekly basis. It starts on October 5th but signups are currently open if you’re interested. So far the supplies are posted and I’m hoping to pick up some yarn this weekend. This will be my first attempt at lace or a stole so it should be really fun and a great learning experience. Now that I’ve joined so many swaps and KAL’s I’m considering buying a calendar so I can keep up!

Oops…I almost forgot!! One more thing that I joined in on is the Pay It Forward exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 365 days) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
Someday I will receive something special from Anne, and now if 3 of you would like to receive something from me, please post your comments and continue the PIF exchange your own blog. Ok, now I definitely DO need a calendar!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Hubby and I are off to the gulf coast of Florida to visit my cousin and her husband. The four of us always have a great time and this time even Lucy gets to come along.

An “Ah-Ha!” Moment

August 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm | Posted in fair isle knitting, knitting | 3 Comments

Since I’m in a holding pattern on Clapotis, and washcloths only keep me interested in short spurts, I’ve been itching to get something going on the needles. I’ve been wanting to get back to the Endpaper Mitts I started many months ago, but to be honest, I was having a lot of trouble with my stranded knitting technique. The mitts looked ok, tension wasn’t bad, but I was a doing a really poor job of knitting them. I tried to hold one color of yarn in each hand and follow the instructions in my books, but I just wasn’t getting it. I’d taught myself continental knitting from the start so “throwing” was completely foreign to me. Next I tried both colors in my left hand wrapped on two different fingers, but again, I had a hard time keeping enough tension in the back yarn and it didn’t work well. In the end, I was holding both colors wrapped around the same finger in my left hand, and just knitting through the color I needed for each stitch. What resulted was a neverending, massively annoying and messy, twist in the 2 balls of yarn. So, the Endpaper Mitts were relegated to the “maybe later” pile.
This week I came across this nifty video at The Philosopher’s Wool which teaches the two-handed fair isle technique. Hurray! It was exactly what I needed to get me knitting much more competently and also got me back to wanting to work with more than one color. So, in an effort to sharpen my new skills, I pulled some old acrylic yarn from my stash and made the Center Square hat from Knitty.

It came out like this:

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The hat is really big, and the top was a little tight and misshapen because I had to switch to 3-sizes-too-small DPN’s, but it was still fun to make. I feel much more confident in my stranded knitting now. I don’t think I’m ready to tackle anything very complicated, but I’m definitely ready to take on the Endpaper Mitts again.

One more picture just because my model’s so cute.

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In other knitting news, I am patiently waiting for a Knit Picks order to arrive. I took advantage of the 40% off summer book sale and have 2 books, some new DPN’s and some yarn on the way that I’m sure will end up in a picture or two.

Stalled

August 16, 2007 at 10:42 pm | Posted in knitting, swap | 2 Comments

This week has been very slow on knitting progress. After making some great progress on my Clapotis, I ran out of yarn again and it’s now on the “Stalled WIP” pile. I’m ready to start another pair of slippers but I need to pick up some new yarn so I can change up the colors a bit. I have yarn ready to start on the Anemoi Mittens Christmas project but alas, my printer ran out of ink so when I attempted to print the pattern the charts came up blank. I’ve had an unlucky knitting week!

I have joined a few swaps this week, however. One swap I’m really excited about is the Harvest Sock Swap. Each participant knits one sock then sends the pattern and materials to the recipient to knit the second sock. I think it’s a really great way to solve second sock syndrome..how fun! I hope some of you will join in too!

Off the topic of knitting and onto my second favorite topic…movies! One random bit of info about me is that I am a huge fan of Jane Austen. I’ve read all but one of her books and of course seen every movie adaptation of a Jane Austen novel that I could get my hands on. My favorite of these movies is hands-down the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. It’s about 5 hours long and was originally shown as a mini-series, and it’s fabulous. I first saw it when A&E aired it in 1995 and since then, I have watched it too many times to count, and have already worn through 1 copy and am on my second copy of the film. Of course I also loved Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Emma Thompson (who won an Oscar for it) and also Emma. This weekend my sweet husband took me to see Becoming Jane . It’s really wonderful if you are a Jane Austen fan, but even more endearing to me was the fact that Chris sat in an entire theatre full of women and watched this movie with me. Anyway, I highly recommend it and will be adding it to my Jane Austen collection when it comes out on DVD. Incidently, all of these movies would be great to watch while knitting!

Thank you sock pal!

August 10, 2007 at 5:18 pm | Posted in knitting, socks, swap | 4 Comments

I came home from work today to find a package in my mailbox! My sockpal, Kat, really did a great job and I’m so pleased! I first have to say that when I opened the mailbox a wonderful soap smell came drifting out! That’s because Kat included a little bar of handmade-in-Michigan coconut lime soap. It was a perfect choice because coconut is my favorite soap/shampoo/lotion scent. Also included was a container of “Michigan made” dried cherries, a postcard and my new beautiful PERFECT for work socks!

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I love them!

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See Kat, that’s me in the scrubs I wore to work today and they match my new socks perfectly…AND you can see them through my crocs. You did a great job and I’m really happy to meet you! I’m ready for Sockapalooza 5!

A Felted FO

August 7, 2007 at 8:11 pm | Posted in finished objects, knitting | 6 Comments

This week I have another FO to report. I’ve finished my first pair of felted clogs and I just loved making them. I was amazed at how fast they knit up! It took me about 3 evenings to knit a pair and then on Sunday my husband felted them for me. He was so looking forward to my finishing them so he could get to the felting. I think I’m definitely going to have to come up with more felted projects for him.

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One slipper felted a bit more than the other one and I think that’s because it must be the one that fell out of the pillowcase while they were in the washer. I don’t care though..I love the colors and I can’t wait to gift them. Now that I’ve made one pair, I have 2 more pairs on the Christmas knitting list to go. Should be a piece of cake! I’m hoping to make a nice dent in my Christmas knitting this month because there’s a nifty little contest over on the Christmas KAL.

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