Cables & Os


So it’s been a rough start to 2011 for me and for the ones I love – too much personal stuff to go into here.  I’ve try to stay positive and I’m usually pretty good but sometimes I just get really down – early last week was a good example of that, just days of  hopelessness.  But then something happened that made it all better.

I have a new love

Rorschach

Meet Rorschach, our new kitty!  I’ve been working at Pixie Project, as I mentioned before and when I saw her on Friday morning, I fell in love.  She’s a tiny friendly kitty, between 9 months & a year old and just the cutest, sweetest cat I’ve ever met.  CB took a little convincing but once he met her, I don’t think he could resist.  He named her in fact.  I usually call her Rory though.

Picture 680

With her favorite toy, a little foam ball

She came home with me on Saturday and has fit right in.

I wish all my pictures weren’t so blurry, but she is constantly moving and I really should get a better camera.  We just absolutely adore her.  She has a very different personality than Mina, which I think is a good thing – I miss Mina so much – but I’m not constantly comparing them.  Anyway, she’s just making us both so happy and that’s a good thing.

And to be honest, it hasn’t been all gloom & doom since my last post, thought it feels like it sometimes.  So here are some more Good Things.

I had 2 “patterns” published

Semplice Fingerless Mitts

A  really simple fingerless mitts pattern – it’s so simple I feel silly calling it a pattern, I didn’t even add my name to it.  Anyway, I just wrote it up & knit up the sample in a weekend – it’s the one I use all the time.  And the nice thing about working for a yarn company, I have access to good photography – that’s my coworker Jenny – not to mention an outlet to publish it.

Put a Birdie On it Dishcloth

Once again another silly free pattern – several of us at work did them for our release of our new yarn.  This one was fun, thought I honestly don’t like to knit dishcloths – I crochet them now – but how could I resist not putting a bit of Portlandia on it?

As for my own projects, I finished a pair of sunny socks

Just basic top down socks out of Felici Sport Sunny Day. It’s been such a crappy grey spring again this year so I wanted a bit of sunshine on my feet.

I picked up this old project…and I’m finally almost done!

body done

Yep – this is Cables & Os that I started 4 years ago! I wrote a more extensive blog post on it here, but  now I’m done with the sleeves! Just need to sew it up & had the button band (and find buttons for it)

Oh and one more thing…I”m going to TNNA in June!  I’m so excited and I get to meet several of the designers I work with.

So that’s the happy things update – hope you all are well!

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So I knew this job would be dangerous .

I’ve mentioned before how I have a sewing machine that I couldn’t get to work.  My grandmother left it and a cabinet to me when she died 25 years ago (apparently she knew, even at my young age, that I would be a crafty girl!)  My other grandmother ended up using it for many years, when I moved into a place where I could set it up (as in, not my studio apartment), she wanted to make sure I had it back.  So that & the sewing machine cabinet sat, in my craft room here & in MA, sadly gathering dust.  Sewing had limited appeal at that time – I was interested, but not in quilting and not really wanting to learn to make clothes.

When I tried about a month ago, to get it to work, Ida (as I christened her after my late grandmother) just didn’t want to work.  And I decided she was too much for me to deal with at the time – I need to start simple, as I haven’t sewed anything since jr. high.  I decided a new machine was needed.

Meet Elinor, my newly arrived Brother CS6000i, purchased this week via Amazon.  I named her after another favourite Jane Austen character (to go along with Darcy & Fredrick, the iPods)  Hopefully she will live up to her sweet, steady namesake as I attempt to relearn how to sew (and not be all dramatic, a la Marianne).

Even though she showed up on the hottest day of the year (96 degrees today & no air conditioning), I had to try her out.

Excuse the sweaty hair - like I said it's hot here!

I went with something really simple – a very wide headband/wrap, to replace one I left at my moms last week.  Could not be simpler – I guessed how long it should be, cut, sewed up the long end, then sewed the short ends together.  It’s a bit too loose (my actual first one was too tight) but it works.  I’m not the best sewer as of yet – I can’t cut or sew a straight line to save my life – but I’m learning.

Next I decided to try the pattern that got me wanting to sew –  The Drawstring Bag Tutorial.  I did pretty well, once I figured out what I was doing.

Yah!  I made something!  It just took a couple of fat quarters from Joann’s.  I was so ridiculously proud of it, I immediately called my mom.  I’ll probably make more (I have a serious fat quarter collection already!)  It was very quick & while my seams are really wonky, it’s not that noticeable.  My mom is actually coming up to visit this weekend & is all excited about having a “sewing bee” with just the two of us. 🙂  Of course, she wants to see some fabric stores…I’ve got to control myself though (of course that never works when it comes to yarn, so I don’t know why it would with fabric.)

Oh did I mention I placed my first employee purchase at Knit Picks?  Yep, got paid & immediatly ordered some stuff I needed (another size 0 circ to replace my broken one) and some stuff I couldn’t resist (City Tweed HW!), although I completly forgot I wanted order some of the Harmony cable needles!  Dur!

And I have been knitting as well!  Progress has been made on the Cables & Os!

After 2 & half years, I’ve separated the front & back & started on the armholes.  Woo!  It’s still slow going, but at least the rows aren’t taking me a half hour each to do.

And I finished a sock

Socks that Rock Lunasea – from my stash even!  I didn’t even cast on with my new STR!  This is my on the go project – C&Os has been my home project – so it’s just a plain ol’ sock.  I do like the pooling actually on this, I think because most of it is one color, just the blues in there, so it doesn’t look so weird.  Anyway, I was good & cast on for the second immediately, even with all the new temptations around – I’m determine to actually finish a pair of socks this summer!

Well off to take a cooling shower (I so do not like the heat) and  play with Elinor some more!  I wonder how long I can use the “but it’s work related!” excuse when someone questions all my time spent doing crafty things? 🙂

Well, I guess that’s not really true for me, but hey, I’m always happy to quote Kermit.  Green is my most favourite colour – I go through phases where everything I’m working on and everything around me is green.  I”m actually in one now –  both of my main knitting  projects are green!

First off, I finished a Scrollin’ sock:

Really quick knit actually – less than a week from start to finish.  It’s been a great at home pattern – the repeats go quickly &  it’s easy for me to memorize.  Best of all,  I immediately cast on for the second, which seems to be my issue of late.

The problem is, it’s not a great one to take somewhere like the movies – I do have to look down at it once in awhile to get the stitches straight.  “But,” I can hear you say, “You have a boring dull stockinette sock that you were working on last week.”  Sadly I ran into a problem.  Or rather on – I stepped on my size 0 circ the other night.  Unsurprisingly, it broke. (I seem to have issues with keeping a hold of my size 0s).  So now I could just CO for the second on my dpns, but the main reason I like magic loop is I don’t have to worry about dropping a dpn somewhere, say in a dark theater.  Or I could just place another order at KnitPicks (oh, such a difficulty – I’m dying to try the new City Tweed, which I recently got to fondle.  Lovely stuff, perfect for a sweater.)

Or I could cast on for another sock in a different yarn with my other free long circ (my other one is being used for the Devon socks…also not a great project to have for purse knitting).  My eyes keep getting drawn to this…

Lotus Yarns May Sock Club - 70% superwash merino  30% SeaCell.  100% delicous.

Lotus Yarns Mythos Sock Club for May - Medusa, 70% superwash merino 30% SeaCell. 100% delicous.

Or maybe this…

STR Mediumweight Lunasea

STR Mediumweight Lunasea

While I really want to try out the Lotus Yarn – I always love trying out new fibers & I’ve never used seacell before – my only empty circ needle is a size 2, which I think the mediumweight STR would look better on.  And I might want to save the semi-solid Medusa for a more complicated pattern.  Not to mention it’s nearly the same colour as the KP Essentials I’m using on Scrollin’.

So I guess I just talked myself into STR. 🙂

My other project is an old hibernating one.  Anyone remember this?

I’m really embarrassed – I started this in April 2007.  Yes, that’s right, over 2 years ago.  It’s Cables & Os from No Sheep for You and I dig it out every few months & work on a repeat or so before it goes back into hibernation.  While picking out some clothes the other night for a job interview (fingers crossed!), I realized that I really want this sweater – it’s KP Cotlin, perfect for cooler summer days & air conditioned offices.  And such lovely cables.  So it’s back on the needles again…hopefully until it’s finished.  I still have (man this is really embarrassing) 3-4 inches to go on the body before the sleeves, then the yoke, then the sleeves.  I think the reason I keep putting it down is it just takes so darn long to do one row and it’s my first sweater on smaller than size 6 needles.  And a more complicated pattern than I’ve done so I keep having to tink back to correct a mistake, which takes the row even longer.  Sigh.  I thought about frogging it actually, but when I pulled it out again, I fell in love all over again.  So I am determined.

Another green theme is continued from my last post – green eating!  One thing that sparked my interest in organic & homegrown food was my own little garden.  Finally I’m getting some items in bloom!

A teeny tiny tomato!

A teeny tiny tomato!

sunflowers growing on a daily basis - amazing these things started 2 months ago from a tiny sunflower seed!

sunflowers growing on a daily basis - amazing these things started 2 months ago from a tiny sunflower seed!

a pumpkin blossom!  Not really green, but Im excited because I thought my pumpkin plant had died until last week when it started growing all of a sudden

a pumpkin blossom! Not really green, but I'm excited because I thought my pumpkin plant had died until last week when it started growing all of a sudden

And last, but not least, a sure sign that Summer is in Portland…Roses!

my rose bush that, again, I thought had died over the winter.  Hearty plants, those roses.

my rose bush that, again, I thought had died over the winter. Hearty plants, those roses.

Have a great week everyone!  I’m off to Eugene on Thursday for the second of the multiple fiber fests in OR this summer – Black Sheep Gathering.  I’m looking forward to it, I’m going  with my lovely mom who is so excited we went 2 years ago & had fun, though I just discovered the Alpacas won’t be there this year.  Sad!  But look out Blue Moon STR mill ends! 🙂

Update:  I got a job!  It’s with a dream company – a local yarn/knititng company I adore – you might be able to figure out who that is, but I’ll give more details after I start on Monday! 😀  YAH!

I actually had a chance yesterday evening to photograph a couple of WiPs (still daylight out, though I miss my nice big porch in OR for photographing projects). This accomplishes two things – one, I actually get to post WiPs on Wednesday like I used to and two, prove to everyone that I do knit more than socks sometimes.

First up, Blue Gable:

The black shirt underneath is how long I want it (I’ve learned that most sweaters but especially Zephyr Girl‘s patterns are never long enough for me). So I decided to use one my favourite t-shirts (H&M – I have multiple) as a judge for length. So not too much more to go, thank goodness. Although this is a nice project for TV watching, internet reading, car riding, and theater movie watching as it’s plain stockinette for miles. Haven’t decided if I want to add ribbing on the bottom, or use Turtlegirl’s modification of lace. Hmm. Sleeves will be a bit longer than the pattern too – I really do have a lot of yarn to go (about a skein & half of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece) so I guess I can make them pretty long, although they will probably be a typical t-shirt length.

And my non boring project, the one that requires a lot of concentration.

Yep that is the Cables & Os that I started a freaking YEAR ago. Although I do love this patten and the yarn (KnitPicks Cotlin) , it is the largest project I’ve ever made on small (4US) needles. Each row takes a long time, especially those purl through the backloop rows. And the bad thing about not working on it for several months…I’m a much better knitter now, as in I do YOs properly now. (apparently I didn’t before, as you can’t see the O’s) But I am not going to rip back the 10 inches I’ve done so far. So it’s a design feature.

Worth all the pain & annoyances it has brought on.

My miles of cable. I do love it so. And I need a new cardigan, I wear them all the time and unfortunately, my favourite is getting a little worn.

Thanks for all the compliments on CB’s socks! He loves them & wears as much as possible. The bad thing though is…he wants more. Not that it’s too bad, I love making socks. The awful bit is that he only wants plain white or gray socks. Not even a multicoloured one with those – I showed him several in my stash, like this Lana Grossa (Ravelry link) but no, he only likes plain ones, although different coloured heels & toes are fine.

Okay, I should actually do some work, sneaking a blog post in at work is a bit stressful sometimes. (“Oh of course I’m doing that research…”)

I finally finished the damn things.

CoffeeBoySocks (take 2)

Started: February 22nd

Completed: March 20th

Yarn: MC- KnitPicks Bare Superwash Merino & Nylon (Natural) and CC – Knitpicks Essentials (Dusk)

Pattern – Basic Sock  64 stitches, 2 inches of 2×2 ribbing, 7 inches total cuff, eye of partridge heel in contrast color, long ass men’s foot, basic toe in contrast colour.

Needles: size 2US Harmony dpns

Notes:  First off, I apologize for the lack of decent pictures – I took this one right after I finished it and like the good SO of a knitter CB now is, he is actually wearing them to his class today.  Anyway, I had a serious case of SSS on this pair – I usually do get tired of the socks by the second sock, but this one took me awhile to get over.  Doesn’t help that I only worked on these particular socks at home – on the train, I’m pretty much forced to only work on the second sock – and I got sad looks from CB if I worked on something else (or “you’re never going to make me socks are you?  What about that gray one…?”).  But I slogged through & I’m pretty happy with them.   I wish I had put a blue strip near the top (CB said he wouldn’t mind a colour in it after all AFTER I finished most of the cuff.  I was not going to rip back) but the contrast heels & toes look nice I think.  So CB finally gets some wool socks.  Maybe his feet won’t be so cold when he gets into bed at night!

I even put off trying out my Harmony Options until I finished these but now – oh my, I wish I had ordered these long ago.  Just like the Harmony dpns kick started my sock habbit, these will hopefully get back into knitting my UFOs.  I put them on my Blue Gable & it was such a joy to knit on.  I’ve got about 6 inches left on the body now – woohoo!  I might actually finish this fairly soon!  And do you remember this?

 

This is the lovely & gorgeous Cables & Os that I started, oh forever ago.  Now it will be my next big finish up project.

Tonight I’m attending my first hockey game – CB is a fan and his best friend bought us tickets for his birthday awhile back.  Should be, uh, interesting anyway.  Honestly, at least we’re getting out of the house, we’ve been such homebodies for weeks now, due to weather & lack of anything to do.

Well the rains came back to Oregon, so my photos are, sadly, not as clear. Ah well, at least I have a covered front porch so I can use the natural light.

So this week as been pretty much All About Cables & O’s:

It’s still slow going but I do love working on it – the stitch pattern is easy to memorize & oh so enjoyable to do. I just wish it wouldn’t take forever to do each row. I really want to finish it because first of all, I want a new cardi to wear. Second of all, I keep looking at all sorts of other projects I want to do – Central Park Hoodie for one – but I don’t want more than one big project going at once.

This, however, does not include socks

So here we have Raupe Monkey and the Sockapalooza second sock. Just like everybody else, I find the Monkey pattern addicting. My only issues is I don’t like starting rows on a purl stitch, but I can live with it. I’ve tried to do a repeat each day, although I didn’t last night because I was working on the SP sock. Nearly to the heel on that one – I should finish in plenty of time of the August 2nd deadline.

I do have a FO to show off but I’m waiting for the weather to clear up to photograph it – it might have to wait for pictures on Friday, when I’m getting ready for the Harry Potter party (so you can all see me in my dorky glory).

I know that everyone is sick of Ravelry posts but I love that place so much. I’ve been trying to describe it as MySpace for knitter to various friends who are wondering why I suddenly have a bunch of a new photos of my yarn on my flickr page. (A bit embarrassing that is). But it’s so so much better than stupid MySpace. I really love looking at all the different versions of patterns that people have done and all the comments on them. I also get a little thrill when my photos get chosen as the featured photo for different yarns – just random ones that I seem to be the only one with it in my stash but still.

Plus I get really excited when someone friends me – I’m even “friends” with Stefanie Japal which made my day.

Okay, now I sound really pathetic & stalker-ish. But what I’m saying, Raverlry – big thumbs up from me.

I’ll leave you with my new camera case – we got a new Paperchase line at work call Monstars & they are adorable. I’ve been on the lookout for a camera case so my poor camera won’t get all beat up & I found the perfect one! Plus only $7.99!

Isn’t he cute? The look a lot like the Ugly Doll line but I don’t care – it’s padded & water resistance and won’t let my camera get scratched up in my purse.

Only 3 days ’til Harry!

Sigh.

I need to stop visiting my mom. Because everytime I visit her, I end up at Ben Franklins which has incredible deals.

Proof?

That is eight hanks of Cascade Luna, gorgeous cotton yarn, all in one dye lot. And the price? $3 each. I’m thinking it’s going to be Tomato from No Sheep For You – it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately after seeing some pictures on other blogs I read – I though about Mission Falls 1824 Cotton for it…which brings me to my next little purchase.

I realized, on Friday night at about 5:45 that I didn’t have a size 2 circular and I really wanted to start Cables & Os. So I raced down to CloseKnit (which closes at 6pm), thanking my lucky stars I have a LYS 5 minutes away. Of course I had to check out the new stuff they had recently put out – lots & lots of cottons! I picked up the Mission Falls to play with (it will probably end up a (summer) Panta) and some more Fixation to make more footies Is that colour great? These will be for me. 🙂 But who knows when I’ll get to them. I also bought some secret goodies for my Spring Fling Pal.

I swatched for the Cables & Os Cardigan & I got perfect gauge with Cotlin – I couldn’t believe, I NEVER get perfect gauge the first try (which explains my mad rush to start it). Unfortuntatly 288 stitches + twisted rib = very slow knitting. Seriously, it takes me 25 minutes to do each RS row & about 40 minutes to do a WS (those damn purls through the back loop). So this is as much as I’ve done since Friday evening – granted, I didn’t knit too much durring the day.

Just finished with the ribbing…yes that is only an inch & quarter. I think this is going to take awhile. Sigh. But I do love this yarn & I like how it looks on the smaller needles.

I also got some Cascade 220 for some knitted grass. Go click on it…isn’t it the most adorable thing ever?

Hopefully I can keep it healthier than my yard. Ugh.

I did try to my hand at some plants. I have been death on plants in the past but I always have hope.

Hot Peppers for CoffeeBoy

Bell Peppers for me

And some Rosemary…and a brief shot of my weedy backyard.

 

I hope everyone had as gorgeous of a weekend as we had here!

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