FO 2009


I always feel bad for December birthdays – people are spending so much time trying to find that perfect gift for someone…and then they have to do it twice in the same month. (I will say January birthdays, for me, are worse – there are 4 very close members of my family – including CoffeeBoy – who celebrate birthdays within one week in January. )  So I really wanted to make the 2 close members of the family feel special on their birthday this year.

Mom is one December baby and she’s had a rough year.  I decided she deserved mink – not some crappy fur jacket, but a mink/cashmere blend scarf.

Mom Deserves Mink Scarflet

Started: November 19th

Completed: December 1

Yarn: Great Northern Yarn Mink/Cashmere

Pattern: My own

Needles: Size 5

Notes:  I really wish I got a better shot of this, it was a lovely little scarf.  It took me forever to figure out a pattern for this yarn – it’s a very light yarn and it feels so fragile, when I’m used to more a tough wool.  I had a bunch of ideas, none worked so I went with just a garter stitch scarf with a twist –  I started with one stitch & just YO on each end until it was wide enough, then did YO K2tog & YO SSK on each end until it was long enough.  Then YO K3tog & YO SSSK on each end until back down to 1 stitch. I bought the shawl pin on etsy from AmericanCarver – it ended up a bit wide for it, but my mom loved it, plus she has a bunch of funky pins that she can switch it off with.  She was very happy with it – and timing couldn’t have been better since we are in the middle of a very cold snap here – cold even for me, after 2 MA winters.

The other December baby in my family is my youngest nephew.  And when I saw this pattern, I knew I had to make it for him.

Bruce the Mittens

Started: November 30th

Completed: December 3

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Bulky in Squirrel Heather (way less than one hank) and some random Wool of the Andes held doubled for the mouth

PatternDeep Blue Sea Shark Mittens

Needles: Size 8

Notes: These were a big hit.  Again, I really wish I got better pictures of them, but it’s hard to get him to sit still to pose.

These were super quick to make, especially  in his size – my only issue was with the sewing up (I’m not so great on that).  There were a couple of issues in the pattern with sizing (without the person nearby) but they were minor.  I’m even tempted to make a pair for myself!  He was really excited about them – my sister told me he wore them bike riding and every time they stopped, the sharks “attacked” each other.

I’m still slowly getting through the rest of my holiday gifts but it’s been a busy couple of weeks – the past 2 weekends I’ve been out of town & my job has been pretty crazy busy at work.  I know I’ve hinted at what I do, but I can talk about it now since my project is now live – I’m working with outside knitwear designers on the Independent Designer Program – we put the first wave of patterns up last week.  It is a fun job – all of these patterns are fantastic! (one downfall to my job – I look at cute patterns all day long, which makes my knitting queue longer and longer).  We’ll put out more information out in January, but if you’re looking for a great pattern, check out what we have! 🙂

My job rules, by the way.  I’ve been very very lucky this year in my job opportunities. 🙂

I have seriously been slacking on the photographing projects & yarn both for here & for Ravelry. Not quite sure why – I have way better areas to photograph stuff outside (um, my neighbors can’t see me when I haul yarn or do goofy poses in front of my camera) and it’s not like I’ve stopped buying yarn or anything.  I try to pretend I don’t by working through my stash but yeah, I’m still obtaining yarn either from work or because I just need something from Twisted.  I also try to pretend it’s because the weather hasn’t been great when for me to take pictures of them outside but since it was hailing when I took these photos, that’s not really holding up. (Yes I have a covered porch)

So enough of the non excuses.  A couple of weeks back, I was on the Knit Picks podcast again (always fun) talking about Impractical Knits.  Well, that fits these, at least for me at the moment.

Glossy Grove

Started: Oct 4th

Completed:  Oct 10

Yarn: Knit Pick Gloss HW in Aegean

Pattern: Grove by Jared Flood

Needles: 6US

Notes:  I fell in love with this pattern the minute I saw it.  It’s the reason I bought Made In Brooklyn actually.

And while these would have been perfect when I lived in MA & taking public transit in the freezing cold, I don’t think they will get much use here.  I drive to work and, baring some freak storm, it doesn’t get that cold here.

But they were very fun to make – the pattern is excellent.  And I used my favorite KP yarn at the moment, Gloss HW, which made it even better.   It is larger than the yarn called for but I have big hands anyway.  And how gorgeous is this color?

It matches the My Wave Cowl I made & I have about a ball left that might be enough to do a matching Ripley (rav link).

So that’s one project done & photographed at least – I have a couple more goofy things (more DangerCrafts toys) that I’ll post about later.  I’m currently working on Christmas gifts – I think I’m doing okay on that front, but ask me again in a month & I’ll probably be freaking out, like always.

One last note – I got some fantastic news last week in regards to work.  I got a promotion!  No longer will you hear my sexy voice (heh) on the customer service line (sorry J.P., you’ve missed the boat 😉 ) I will now be working directly with Knit Picks on a very exciting new project.  I am so happy, it’s going to be so much fun!  Not too many details yet – I can’t for a bit yet plus the one downside is I don’t get to start until mid November.   I am so very lucky – I couldn’t get anyone to call me back for a job when I started applying here & now I’m working for a company I already really loved and I get to work with a kick ass bunch people.  Plus – it’s all about knitting & yarn! 😀  What could be better?

 

…yet

Calvin & Ripple Socks

Started: September 20

Finished: Oct 4

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Mediumweight End – no idea what color it was suppose to be but I love it.

Pattern: Calvin & Ripple by Cristi Brockway

Needles: size 1.5US circ – magic loop

Notes:  This is how I got my sock mojo back.

I manged to finish these in 2 weeks, which used to be normal time for me.  Of course I did little else, knitting wise, but these were so worth it.

I may have a new fave sock pattern.

This is a wonderfully unique sock pattern – one toe up, one top down, different stitch patterns for the front, the same stitch pattern for the back of both heels

And believe it or not, I enjoyed the toe-up sock more.  Maybe it was the very fun Calvin stitch pattern (it’s the one on the left in these photos), maybe it was the fact it was the first toe-up I enjoyed (Judy’s Magic Cast-On & doing Magic Loop instead of dpns played a significant reason for that), whatever the reason, I loved it.  While the Ripple pattern is lovely as well, I couldn’t keep the stitch pattern in my tiny brain – even to the very end I had to keep tinking back every other row because I would mess up somehow.  Still they look so lovely together – I never have had so much attention paid to my socks at work.

I didn’t really plan to use similar colors as the pattern – though it makes sense for a couple of orange kitties.  There’s not much more I can say about the yarn that hasn’t been said before by me or others – I freaking love love love Socks That Rock.

And am I over my toe up phobia?  Well I started another pair of Calvins for a holiday gift for my mom – what do you think?  🙂  Thank you Cristi for such an awesome pattern!

So this weekend was spent finishing a couple of projects.  It was a lovely cool grey Saturday, so it was perfect.

First was my biggest sewing project to date:

I made duvet cover for my bed!  And I’ll probably never do another one!

So, I hated the comforter on the bed – the fabric was a little rough & I was getting super tired of it – I bought it 3 years ago when we bought the bed.   When I bought Simply Sewing, I saw the pattern for the duvet & thought “prefect!” (after my first reaction of “12 yards of fabric? Are you kidding?”)  It’s not a difficult project when you read over it – basically 5 long pieces of fabric sewn together, then folded in half & sewn up again.  But…those pieces of fabric are LONG (especially for our king sized bed) – 105 inches in fact.  So first was the adventure of ironing the fabric & cutting it out while trying to keep the cat off the pieces since I had to use the floor.  Then sewing it together tried my patience.  That was a lot of cotton fabric, which is not light.  But it was worth it in the end, I even had enough for some pillows.

The fabric is from Connecting Threads – the other company I work for.  I saw the colors in the Twilight Frost collection & decided that those were the ones I wanted in my room.  Luckily, the fabric is really nice & not too expensive.    So I really love it – I’m trying to convince myself I sleep better with it on my bed.

I also realized, with this project,  it is unlikely I will ever quilt.

The other finished item is a pair of socks I’ve had on the needles for an embarrassingly long time.

Groovy

Started: April 3

Completed: September 19

Yarn: Handgefaerbt Merino Extra Fine (or as I like to call it, the “Other Pretty German Hand Dyed Yarn”

Pattern: Groovy Socks

Needles: Size 1.5US

Notes: No I don’t know why it took me so long to finish these.

The yarn is nice. The pattern is nice.  The first one I finished is nice.  I just couldn’t get motivated to work on the second sock.  I never used to suffer from Second Sock Syndrome but it hit me bad.  I finished one in, oh way back in April. I think I even cast on for the second right after I finished the first…and ignored it until Sock Summit.  Then I worked on it there & completed the heel…then I ignored it again.  Finally last week I picked it back up & finished it up.  And hey, guess what?  They are nice socks.

Mostly I wanted to finish them because I really wanted to start a new pair (I am going to conveniently ignore the other two socks with unfinished mates I have, as well socks for CoffeeBoy for now).  When Cristi stayed with me during Sock Summit, she made me promise to do a pair of toe up socks, especially after I learned Judy’s Magic Cast-On.  What better way to do it then with Cristi’s own pattern?

So this is my first adventure in a very long time of doing toe up socks (what can I say? I love my top down socks.) Judy’s Magic Cast-On made a huge difference – you know when people say they hate kitchner stitch? I bloody hate provisional cast-ons, which is what my other toe up socks started as (short row toes).  I am just an idiot when it comes to crochet hooks apparently.

The pattern I choose is Calvin & Ripple (although, sorry Ripple, I keep wanting to call it Calvin & Hobbs).  I freaking love the stitch pattern.  I still didn’t quite get the toe (forgive me, I did just a plain toe) but I’m having fun with it…partly because of the pattern, partly because of the yarn…it’s a Socks That Rock mediumweight mill end, no idea what color way it was suppose to be but I love it.  It reminds me of fall, which is officially starting tomorrow, (according to the calendar although Mother Nature isn’t paying attention because it’s suppose to be in the 90s again. UGH).  Anyway, I’m enjoying every bit of this sock…I haven’t decided if I’ll do another Calvin Sock or switch to Ripple…hey maybe that will solve my Second Sock Syndrome!

So I’ve been moody this week – just a lot of stress & negativity seems to be surrounding me and getting me down.  It’s nothing really horrible, don’t worry. I am usually a pretty cheerful person & I do my best to keep my annoyance & frustration to myself instead of taking it out on poor unsuspecting people…although it seems like I am the poor unsuspecting person on the receiving end of a lot other people’s negativity.  So when that happens I like to  make silly things to cheer me up, even when I have a ton of other projects I’d like to finish in this lifetime.

First there was the pickle…

Fredrick the Giant Pickle

Started: September 11

Completed: a few hours later

Yarn: a random partial ball – I’m pretty sure it’s Swish Worsted

Pattern: Christmas Pickle Ornament

Needles: size 4US Zephyrs

Notes:  So we have this pickle ornament pattern & I had to make it. Why? I have no idea, I don’t even like pickles.  Still, I added some eyes & Fredrick was created.  Actually, there is an accessory that several us in the office are making in different yarn weights, so I of course I had to have something to fit it. (Not trying to be mysterious, just some fun silly things we are doing. I love my job) Anyway, he’s sized up – worsted instead of fingering & on size 4s instead of 2s but everything else is the same.  He now sits on my desk & cheers me when I’m having one of those days.

A week or so ago, I got interviewed for the KP podcast again, talking about unusual knits (the podcast won’t be up for at least a couple of weeks). I got to talking about Mochimochiland & especially my Grass Guy.  Yesterday I was particularly down & decided another Grass Guy was needed.

Mo

Started:  September 17

Completed: September 18

Yarn: Another random ball, I think this is Cascade 128

Pattern: Grass

Needles: Size 8US

Notes: This pattern just cheers me right up.  I means it’s just so silly & quick – Mo is my third grass guy.  He is a lot bigger than his brother, the Original Grass Guy Who Never Got A Name But I Just Decided To Call Him Jo.

Plus, Mo has better eyes, now that I discovered a place to get plain black safety eyes.  I hate doing embroidery.   He’s squishy & soft so I think he’ll join Fredrick & Little Boo at my desk so I can something to hug on those bad days.

Then this isn’t finished yet because he needs legs.

he is scared of legs & wants to stay in the grapevines

he is scared of legs & wants to stay in the grapevines

Right now it’s just the Giant Grape but it’s going to be one of the Monster Chunks by Dangercraft.  I love those patterns as much as the Mochimochi ones so I think my nieces & nephews will get some of those for Christmas.

I have no plans this weekend so I am hoping to actually finish a big sewing project during that time 🙂   Not to mention some knitting projects to work on…but I have some movies and a new audio book to keep me going, not to mention a lovely rainy day tomorrow (before we go back up to the 90s – BOO!  I want fall!  I can’t even wear my new knitwear yet!).  Have a lovely negative free weekend everyone!

Well, I ended up not taking pictures until today – lots of little things and some stupid family drama pretty much killed my desire to blog or even photograph my knits.  But now I have some fall items to show off.

First the Sunny Cabley Beret I mentioned in the last post

Sunny Cabley Beret

Started: August 26

Completed: September 5th

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Heavyweight Mill End

Pattern: Laurel by Jared Flood

Needles:  Size 3 & 7 US

see? I smile in photos sometimes.
see? I smile in photos sometimes.

Notes:  I love this hat.  This actually had started as a different cabled hat but then I picked up Made In Brooklyn and immediately had to make this one.  Believe it or not, this is the first big cabling project I’ve actually completed – what I mean is more than just doing a 4 stitch cable every six rows or so. Funny, because I love doing cables so much – keep your colorwork, your lace, I’ll take beautiful cables anytime.

And of course the yarn is a delight.  It’s a bit thinner than what was called for so mine is a bit more floppy but I don’t mind.  I did go down a needle size for the ribbing so it would stay on my giant head.

Be warned, if you have Made In Brooklyn, there is some errors in the pattern – nothing too huge but the chart key is incomplete.  I pretty much figured it out on my own, but there is now errata for it.

Next up…more fall wear:

My Wave

Started: September 4

Completed: September 8

Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss HW in Aegean, a little over 1 ball

Pattern: Wave Cowl

Needles: Size 9US

Notes:  I have been in love with this yarn since I first got to squish it a few months ago.  And the color…photos can’t capture the glowingness of this.

until I took this photo, I didnt notice the short row stitches standing out that much.
until I took this photo, I didn’t notice the short row stitches standing out that much.

My original intent was to make a scarf version of the Every Way Wrap from the new IK.  I did one repeat…and hated it.  So I decided a cowl was a way to go instead.  I don’t really like knitting scarves anyway.

This pattern was really fun – I’m one of those weirdos who love to do short rows (though obviously they can use some work). and I love how it turned out.

I look derranged.
I look derranged.

Obviously, I would get more use wearing it like this in MA rather than out here (unless we get another crazy snow storm this year) but it’s still a lovely item to have around my neck when it’s chilly.

A couple more little projects in a future post…and now it’s time to work nonstop on Calluna.  After another brief heatwave, it’s hopefully going to be fall now and I am loving Calluna so much.

Funny, I realized I haven’t really been working on socks all that much.  My purse project is the same damn socks I worked on at Sock Summit, but I’m determine to slog through them before casting on for any more.

It is finally feeling like fall around here and I couldn’t be happier – there is just so much I love about this time of year.

I love the changing of the leaves….

I love wearing my knitwear again…

Laurel by Jared Flood...a proper FO shoot as soon as it finishes blocking

I love baking…

especially in my new apron

especially in my new apron

I love the color style in fabrics & yarn..

Little Pumpkins!  From the other company I work for - Connecting Threads

Little Pumpkins! From the other company I work for - Connecting Threads

And I love just being in the house watching the ever changing sky…

I’m going to continue to enjoy the official start of fall for the rest of the lazy 3 day weekend.

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