FO 2007


A couple of FOs from 2007 I haven’t blogged about yet.  Both were holiday gifts that were given last night, so now is the time!

 A Lacey Gift Bag

Started: December 7

 Completed: December 9

Yarn: KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Crocus, about 1.5 skeins

Pattern: Knit Picks Generation Purse

Needles: size 5US dpts

Notes: I ran across this pattern in an old KnitPicks catalog and thought it would be perfect for a gift exchange I had over the holidays.  I’d met the girl who I got a couple of times, but didn’t know her very well but thought she might appreciate a little knitted gift.  Anyway, this was a quick knit & turned out pretty cute.

I’m not big on lace, but I did enjoy the panel on this – it’s easy to memorize & only 4 repeats.  I went up a size in the yarn called for (Worsted instead of Sport) and needles (any excuse to use my harmony needles) so it’s a lot bigger – I fit 2 regular sized bottles of body wash & a bag of chocolate buttons in it.  I think I might make more of these for gifts in the future – they just look so nice.

I actually made 2 scarves when I was in OR, but one still hasn’t been photographed (it’s mine, out of the heavenly Panache) but this one is for my lovely friend of 15 years who hinted how much she loves scarves.  Even though scarves aren’t my favourite thing to knit, I really wanted to for her.

 

(another) Basketweave Scarf

Started: December 23

Finished: December 29

Yarn: Cascade Cash Vero, 2 balls

Pattern:  My own, a modified basketweave.

Needles: 10.5US circular

Notes:  I like how this turned out, although it does curl.  I went lengthwise  again, and made up my own pattern for the main part – I was going for blocks of purls but it just ended up looking like basketweave.  Ah well

 

I cast on 180 stitches, knit for 6 rows and then did the pattern until it seemed wide enough.  Then just did 6 rows of garter again.  I didn’t have a yarn choice in mind for it – I knew I wanted something super soft & a thicker weight so it would keep my friend neck warm here in MA.  When going to Ben Franklin in OR (which I MISS – man I love that place), I stumbled across Cash Vero – on sale for $7 each.  Yah!  Perfect choice for a scarf, I think – my friend immediately put it on & didn’t take it off the rest of the night.

There were a couple of other gifts I didn’t get a chance to blog or photograph – a couple of pairs of knucks & my previously mentioned scarf (I need to block it again, while I LOVE it – seriously, Panache feels wonderful), I think I got them all.  Now to start blogging about my current WiPs

Number of FOs for the year: 68. Wow. Actually, now that I think about it, I believe that number is a lot higher – I made a lot of small projects, especially gifts, in the past few weeks that I haven’t blogged about or photographed.
Favourite thing I knit this year:

Central Park Hoodie, without a doubt. It got a lot of use while visiting Portland and is perfect for that weather – not too cold there. (here in MA, however…I got to experience my first below zero temperatures ever this week!) Anyway, Zonda asked me how Wool of the Andes was holding up and…well, it has gotten pretty pilly but I finally bought myself a sweater shaver & that tidied it right up. It’s not the softest yarn – I usually have a long sleeve top under it, but it actually doesn’t irritate my skin if I wear it on bare skin. It’s just not super soft. Anyway, it was my first major cabling project (that I finished, ahem) and it made me fall in love with cables. Now that’s all I want to do.

Also, I really loved all my socks & my Grass Guys.

Least Favourite thing I knit this year: Probably Wicked. I just did not do a good job on it, I screwed up the pocket & it’s just awful all the way around. I rarely wear it – it’s short sleeved and wool, so it’s too hot to wear on it’s own in warm weather & I have to layer it in colder weather, but I don’t like how it looks. And I screwed up the cool ribbing on the neck. And…well I don’t like how I mixed the colours. I do wear it around the house once in awhile (it is very warm) but it’s not something I wear out. I did like the pattern, as well the other Zephyr girl patterns (I own the patterns for Rusted Root and Green Gable, and have some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for both) and really, it was just my impatient knitting on it.

Favourite technique – Cabling of course, but I’m going to throw in sock construction too – this year I really fell in love with socks & sock yarn. I made several – I now have enough handknit socks to wear for a full week. Also, this has to do slightly with knitting, but I’m really proud of how well my photographs have turned out – this is due partly to a kick ass camera but also to tips from turtlegirl76 and indigomouse, among others. I only wish that I had a good place to photograph things here in MA – I really miss my big covered porch in OR. I think that’s the main reason I haven’t photographed a lot of my FOs & yarn purchases of late – not to mention being away from home during the short daylight hours.

Favourite yarn: So many. This was the year I went nuts with different fibers – I’m a sucker for any kind of “unusual” fibers – soy, bamboo, hemp, linen, silk – mostly because of my favourite knitting book of the year, No Sheep For You. It made a nice change from my usual wool & cotton choices. Not to mention organic cotton & wools I’ve discovered as well. I also got really in to handpainted yarns from indie dyers – I can thank Lime & Violet, etsy, Ravelry, and the many bloggers I read for that. I have such a large stash…actually it kind of stresses me out because I really want to knit with EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. Ahem. Anyway, some of my favourites – (Ravelry links) Alpaca with a Twist Highlander (my Panta), Ashabee bamboo & merino wool (my newest socks), SWTC bamboo (DreamSwatch for my friend), KnitPicks Cotlin (I really need to finish my Cables & Os!), Blue Moon Socks That Rock (a couple of heavyweight socks), KnitPicks Panache (a scarf for my (sorta) MIL and one for myself I haven’t photographed yet), and a couple of workhorse yarns – Cascade 220 & Mission Falls 1824 (way too many projects to list)

 

Goals for this year: I really want to make more sweaters, I have the yarn but I need to get back into it (and finish the 2 I have on the needles – Mr GreyJeans and Cables & Os. The small projects are a nice instant gratification, but I always want more sweaters – especially here. I want to get better at making them (swatch! I must get better at swatching!). Otherwise, more socks (not difficult with my commute and my sock yarn stash) and more cabling. Lace & colour work don’t really interest me all that much and I can’t think of another technique I want to learn. Non knitting goals – lose the weight I’ve really gained over the past year (I know, that’s everyone’s resolution), go back to school, even it it’s only a couple of classes a term (first I want to find something that interests me enough) and, a big one, find ways to make MA feel like home. I miss Portland desperatly and MA, while I love Boston, hasn’t really felt like home for me or CoffeeBoy. I think meeting some people in Lowell itself (Hi Marianne & Amanda!) will help. I realized, when talking to friends back in Portland, I think the major problem we have with MA is that our friends live a bit far away (30-45 minutes) so it’s a bit of a effort to actually get together. I guess we are lucky that CB & I salem.jpghaven’t killed each other yet, since we are only in each other’s company all the time.

I think we’ll be together awhile 🙂

Happy New Year to everyone who kept reading this very long post! I have some other long posts I want to get up this weekend too – yarn I bought, FOS I finished – so we’ll see if that happens! 🙂

I haven’t been real commited to my blog of late have I?

Well, the trip back to OR (spent mostly at my mom’s with little or no internet), the holidays in general, and working a lot, I haven’t had a chance.  I have a blog post started for a year end review of my knitting…but I want to do it right so I’m going to wait for the weekend (the blessed weekend!)  I do want to apologize to anyone who contacted me while I was in OR (like Zuma) – I was pretty much without internet the entire time I was in OR.  In some ways, it was nice not being tied to it (especially with my new job where I do sit at a computer all day), but I do feel behind on the internet knitting world.  I can read blogs at work through my google reader, but I don’t really want to comment a lot – I feel uncomfortable enough just using to read the blogs!

In any case, here is the second to the final FO of the year (the final is a gift & blocking anyway, so that’ll come up this weekend too:

My Very Own Cabled Hat

Started: December 19th (on the plane!)

Completed: December 21st

Yarn: Knitting Fever Peru Alpaca Luxury Chunky – 2 skeins

Pattern: Braided Hat

 Needles: Size 9US circular

Notes:  I have made this pattern a total of 3 times already…and gave them all away.  And I really loved the hats too…but they went to good homes so that’s all right.  In any case, I decided it was high time for one for myself.  I orginally made it too short.  One of my major reason to make this hat was for warm hat for myself that covers my ears!  So, after throwing a small tantrum about how huge my head is, I settled down & picked up the stitches around the edge & knitted for another inch.   I should have used a smaller needle for it though, as it does flare out but it’s still a pretty warm hat.  The yarn is one I picked up at store in Eugene – Tuesday Morning – and I think it’s discontinued.  Such a shame, it’s lovely yarn, I wish I had more of it.

And my knitted items are coming in handy- with the wind it’s below 0!  Quite the difference from OR!

We got hit with another storm.

So it was a good day to finish my Ashabee Socks.

Started: November 17th

Finished: December 16th

Yarn: Ashabee FiberOasis “Eclipse” (60% Merino, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon)

Pattern:  Basic top down stockinette socks

Needles:  Size 1US KnitPick Harmony

Notes:  I think I say this every time I use a new yarn but this is my new favourite yarn.  Oh it’s so soft & lovely and makes such a wonderful pair of socks.  I highly recommend Ashabee for any sock yarn – the colours are beautiful (I bought mine at Twisted but it took me quite awhile to pick a colour).  And I know I’ve gushed about the Harmony needles multiple times but wow, do they make a difference.  This is the smallest needles size I’ve ever used but these socks just flew off the needles.  Even though these were pretty much my commuter socks, I really just wanted to finish them today (I only had like 4 inches of the foot left.) so I could start a new pair!

This was also my first Eye of  Partridge heel.

 

I love it the look of it.  I think I’ll use this a lot.

Now I really should go finish laundy so I can pack.  This is what I’ve packed so far.

This is yarn & pattern for the Celtic Tote (I will do it this time!), 3 balls of Panache for a scarf, and the Tweedy Essential sock yarn.  Best part?  All for MEEEEEEE! 🙂

But I think I should probably pack some other items.

…we got a little snow here.

Well more than a little actually, about 7 inches here, 9 inches where I work.  All fell in like 6 hours.  “Luckily” my usual hour & half or so commute on the public transit was only a mere 3 hours – and most of that was waiting for the bus that I usually don’t have to take because CoffeeBoy picks me up.  But the poor boy was stuck on the roads for 5 hours.

I didn’t get any pictures of the actual snow coming down – I was just trying to get to places without getting too frozen.  These were taken this morning on my way to work.  Today was my first real day, yesterday they closed the office at 2:30.  It’s going really well – I’m an assistant to the woman setting up a huge event in February.  It’s hard to get to used to sitting at a desk all day after years of running around…but I’m pretty happy with it.  Although I’m only working 2 days next week because we fly back to OR on Wednesday.

Worst part about the snowstorm? (okay other than me worried about CB and the fact we’re getting hit with another storm this weekend.)  Last night was suppose to be the first Lowell Knitters night with some lovely Ravelry ladies.  😦  But I could barely walk down my street from the bus stop (I REALLY need to get some snow boots) so there was no way I could get downtown – usually only a 10 minute walk.  I was really looking forward to it too.  Ah well, hopefully when I get back I’ll be able to meet up with them all.

I finally finished my mom’s scarf this week.

Mom’s Neckwarmer

Started: December 7th

Completed: December 12

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, a little (grrr) over 2 balls.

Pattern: Huckleberry Ascot from Interweave Knits Holiday 2007, heavily modified.

Needles: Size 9

Notes:  This turned out really nice but it annoyed me so many times.  First of all, I was using metal needles – which I rarely do – and this yarn slid off it more than a hundred times or so.  Then I ran out of yarn, which I already whined about.  Then I had blocked the memory of how much I hate to make bobbles, especially on metal needles.  But I do love how it turned out.  I modified it quite a bit – I used a heavier yarn & larger needles so I didn’t do as many short row ruffles.  And I should have made smaller bobbles, so I only made 4.  The yarn is super soft, I’ve heard it pills like crazy, but it looks so pretty knitted up.  I keep getting suckered into Debbie Bliss yarn & I should stop – it doesn’t have great yardage for the price but wow is it pretty.  And now I have most of a ball…I might make myself a small little neckwarmer. But no more bobbles!

 I’m done with all my family’s gifts…although I may remake my BIL’s Knucks (which I realized I wrapped up before posting about them) because I used Cascade 220 and I’m thinking I the Ultra Alpaca is a better choice for them.  I’ve got a couple more  pairs I want to do for CB’s family – who I hope will wear them more than he does.  hrmph.  No more knitted objects for that boy.   Yes, he was in trouble (Cristi got to hear all about it, via email, the other day) and I think he knew it…today he surprised me with my first Alice Starmore book – Fisherman Sweaters.  Just out of the blue, I never asked for it.  But wow, what a lovely book.  So he’s forgiven…for now.  Although I won’t be making him a sweater! 🙂

For some reason, I’ve lost my blogging mojo. I want to blame Ravelry and the no photo ops for my pictures…but really, I’m just lazy. But I will overcome! I’ve pretty much given up on WiP wednesdays & YPF for now…I don’t seem to take as many pictures of my WiPs (due partly to the no photo op places) and I haven’t bought too much new yarn lately. I’m going to try to be better in the new year though.

Still finishing up the Christmas gifts – now I just have 1 & half more to do for my family and a couple for CoffeeBoy’s family. Then I can knit for me me me! Maybe I’ll actually finish Mr. Greyjeans…yeah that whole “knit a sweater in November” really didn’t work out for me. It’s about halfway done, but I realized that I really need to get the Christmas presents done so I can mail the package to my family – while we are spending Christmas there (we just got our tickets – we’re flying home on the 19th) I don’t want to risk taking them on the plane. For some reason, I trust the post office more than the airlines.

So here are a couple of gifts I’ve finished for my nephews & one of the neices. Modeled by my old friend Thistlehair (he’s a Christmas Bear!)

Earflap Hat

Started: December 3rd

Finished: December 7th

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 wool, in black & red -less than one ball each

Pattern: I pretty much made it up as I went along

Needles: Size 5US dpts – yup, the Harmony needles again

Notes: I’m not feeling too creative today so I can’t think of a cute name for this hat I made for my youngest nephew – the same one who got Dash & Rudy this week (I’m promised a picture of him with them). I’m not completely happy with this one but it did turn out cute. I really did just make it up – I used some other patterns for ideas (like where to put the earflaps) and I used the star pattern from Stitch n’ Bitch. The star turned out really wonky on the front though. I used the Harmony needles again, though I probably should have gone up a size – my obsession with the Harmonies really needs to stop!

My mom gave me the idea for it – I wanted something completely different from the hat I made his older brother (see below) because I feel everyone gives him the same thing. So hopefully he will like it…and it fits! I don’t really have a lifesize model to try it out on.

And for the elder brother – a pirate hat! I actually finished this a week or so ago, but just got around to photographing it.

 

The Jolly Roger

Started: November 22th

Finished: November 27th, although I think I might add a fleece lining

Yarn: Laines Du Nord Maxi – black & white. Used all of the black, about half the white

Pattern: My own, but used We Call Them Pirates for the skull pattern.

Needles: size 6US

Notes: As this is for a 5 year old, I didn’t feel it would be worth my time to do all the color work in the wonderful Pirates pattern. So I just did a row of skulls for my pirate obsessed nephew. I had to restart this hat several times – mostly because of the curling stitches problem – I ended up doing a broken rib pattern on it. It still curled until I washed it, but I wasn’t going to do it over again. I’m not thrilled with the FO, I think it’s too big so I’m going to add a fleece lining – it shouldn’t be too hard. But I think my nephew will like it – he recently asked my mom to make him a skull scarf. So he might get one of those too.

And I’ve got the design for my mom to use, should she feel up to it. I certainly don’t!

One more…a scarf for my 8 year old neice:

 

Super Skinny

Started: sometime in October

Finished: December 5th

Yarn: Alpaca Seta Multi, Rose Twist, half a ball

Pattern: a heavily modified version of Montego Bay. HEAVILY

Needles: Size 11US

Notes: I probably shouldn’t even say I used the Montego Bay pattern because really – I did it sizeways, and made it a lot narrower – about 3 inches – and just did the yos & K2tog. Anyway I honestly got really annoyed knitting it – the yarn didn’t slide all that well on the needles I used (damn those Harmonies, ruining all other needles for me) and my hands are so dry the yarn kept catching on them. But it’s nice & long – about 70 inches – and I think it’ll be nice for an 8 year old girl. Actually, now that I think about it, I might make some fringe on it.

Next up is more Knucks for the guys in my life and something special for my mom…I’m not going to post it yet because I just told her today not to look at my blog or flickr for awhile. But it’ll be pretty! She really enjoyed her birthday present – that is who I gave the Chocolate Cherry Socks to. So now I need to top it. I really miss my mom a lot – I’ve been really emotional this week (okay I cried at the end of Scrooged of all things – a movie I love & saw with my family in the theater when it first came out.) so it was even harder to talk to her on her birthday. But I’ll see her in about 2 weeks! And we can geek out about yarn together!

I’m trying to be happy. 🙂

It’s been another one of those crazy weeks where I worked all week – pretty much gone from the house for 13 hours a day and by the time I get home it’s dark & all I want to do is veg (and knit) but not write. I actually enjoyed the job a lot – it’s just reception work – but the people were super nice (and there were a couple of knitters) and I had yet another great view from my desk.

Sadly, I’m not working there this week – I don’t have anything lined up yet – so it might be another one of those weeks where I update every single day.

December has set in and I’m doing pretty well with the Christmas knitting. Since we have less money than we thought, I’m making most gifts – a small knitted gift and probably something to go along with it. Good think I have a stash to pick from! We’re not broke, but flying back to Portland is going to be most of our Christmas fund – but really, I feel seeing our friends & family is the best gift we can get (and give).

In any case, I finished up a couple of cute things for my nephew, who’s birthday is next week.

Dash & Rudy

Started: November 26th

Completed: December 2

Yarn: Both were made with Paton’s Classic Merino in Natural Beige & Chestnut Brown with some scraps of red, black & gray for the eyes & nose.

Pattern: Mochimochi Reindeer

Needles: Size 5US KnitPicks Harmony needles

Notes: I really love the Mochimochi creatures. This was a free with purchase pattern (I bought Ninjabun in case you were wondering) and I thought I would make a couple of these for gifts. As it turns out, my youngest nephew’s 3rd birthday is this week (I’m such a bad aunt) so these guys will have a nice home with him. They are bigger than pattern calls for – I used a worsted weight & larger needles – so the first one I made (Rudy) is about 10 inches tall. I decided to make his brother a little smaller – Dash is about is about 8 inches tall – for some variety. I went with more natural colours for my reindeer rather than the pastels in the pattern as I had these in my stash. I think they are really cute, I think my nephew will like them (or as his mom told me “He’s 3! He likes everything!”)

 

As for the half FO, since I was commuting this week, it’s not a surprise I finished one of my commuter socks

It’s just a basic st stitch sock. And I want to say, once again, I LOVE the KnitPicks Harmony needles. (As you can probably tell, I’ve been pretty much using only those needles). They are nice & smooth and the yarn just flows so nicely on them. I need to get other sizes – they just make me so happy to use.

I am so thankful for my knitted items this weekend – it’s COLD here – the Central Park Hoodie is getting a lot of use, along with my ever growing collection of hats & scarves. With the wind yesterday, it was in single digits most of the day. Today we have a storm brewing. It’s still rather fun for me as I haven’t experienced this since I lived in UT when I was 10 – I can only remember one time in Portland when it got below 15 degrees. I think most of the country is getting hit with storms this weekend so stay warm everyone!

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