So apparently I am on a sweater making kick these last couple of months – I realized last week that I haven’t even finished a pair of sock this year!  I think it’s mainly because I pretty much only knit at home now – odd, considering where I work.  When I was in MA, I was on a train for up to 2 hours a day, which made for great sock knitting.  Now I have to drive to work & when I’m at home, I feel the need to work on bigger projects – or really short ones that take like an evening to complete – see my abundance of toys.

I mean I do have a pair of socks I work on during meetings or when I’m out & about:

GothSocks - I'm even doing toe up two at a time for the first time!

They just don’t get much love on them when I’m at home.

Instead, I’m doing sweaters…or more accurately vests.

Ravelry Red Vest

Started: April 25th

Finished: May 5th

Yarn:  Malabrigo Worsted in Ravelry Red, less than 3 skeins

Pattern: Back-to-School U-Neck Vest by Stefanie Japel

Needles: Size 7US & 5US

So one Sunday afternoon, I was restless.  I wanted to get out of the house & didn’t really have anywhere in particular to go.  So…why not go to Twisted?  I actually went to look at some of the new Blue Moon they had gotten in (I’ve been thinking about making Rooibus and I wanted to see if they had any of the called for yarn – De-Vine.  They did, but the colors didn’t grab me) and to see the lovely sweater sample of The Traveling Sweater.  And I while I was there I began poking around the worsted weight yarns.  I’ve been wanting to make this vest, pretty much since I got the Fitted Knits book – I even had semi-planned some of the new yarn colors for it, but I won’t get that until late summer. But after Rilana finished hers, it jumped to the front of my queue again.

I really wanted red.  I wandered around Twisted for quite awhile, trying to make decision.  I even had a coversation with the ladies there about my Ravelry bag I was carrying, so I was almost embarrassed that this particular Malabrigo was the one I settled on.  “Hi!  I’m a huge Ravelry Dork!”  But it really was the perfect red.

I realized that, while I love Malabrigo, I’ve never actually made a garment out of it.  I’ve also never used the more semi solid colors.  It was love at cast-on.

I also overbought.  I bought 5 skeins – yes, I don’t know what I was thinking, as it took less than 3.  So now I have some extra, for a lovely hat & scarf or something.  Malabrigo – there’s really nothing like it.  And price-wise it wasn’t bad, which is why I went with it (I was tempted by Dream in Color Classy but that was nearly twice as much)

I did a ton of mods to the pattern – you can see my notes here if you really want to know – and I love how it came out.  I’ve never really worn vests until recently (starting with My Vest, finished earlier this year.)  Now I’m a vest fool – my next few sweater projects are planned out & most of the ones I have the yarn for already are vests.

It certainly was perfect weather to wear them this past week here – seriously, it felt like it was February again.  Plus another reason to love making vests – I don’t get stuck in sleeve land! 🙂

This was the quickest I’ve ever finished a garment – yeah it’s a worsted weight vest.  But only 10 days?  Record for me.

Now I have a new project on the needles – Watershed by Amy Swensen.  Yes it’s vest-ish as well.  I may have a problem.  It’s also lace.  I’m really broadening my horizons I guess!

Not long after I started in my new position at Knit Picks , my new boss mentioned they were thinking about doing an event in the spring since the previous event with an author went over pretty well & we had a lot of new yarns coming out. And they wanted me to work on it.   I was excited – I’ve done event coordinating before, my last job was as a conference & speaker coordinator (which pretty much was just one BIG event actually) and in my bookstore life, I was pretty involved in all the Harry Potter release parties.  And this was with yarn!

I decided that little sample balls would be really cute & once we got the okay, I started working on winding them up (with big help from the Customer Service dept & other coworkers).  But I wondered what on earth would knitters do with these little balls?  So I made a couple of examples 🙂

When we started doing promotion for the event, I got nervous.  It’s sometimes awkward working where I do – walking the fine line between wanting to promote our own products & not stepping on LYS toes – I’m well aware of the feelings toward KP. (Luckily we are friendly with my favorite LYS – Twisted – a couple of the designers in my program are even employees there.)  I was worried no one would show up & I would fail at putting together an event – I mean, the Facebook & Ravelry event pages only had a half dozen names other than employees.  In addition to the yarn samples, we planned a fun raffle & a designer panel with our in-house designers & 2 of my IDP designers so I didn’t want to be a waste for them!

Our very empty event space during setup

But we showed up at our event space at Ecotrust (a great place to hold an event by the way, they are awesome to work with) anyway & hoped for the best.  If I do say so myself, our yarn sample  display looked awesome.

I was particularly happy with how the Stroll Tonals looked.

Once the doors opened, my nervousness disappeared – well except we would run out of chairs.  I got no pictures of when our guests started getting the yarns – I was too busy chatting with them all (and trying not to sound like I was gushing, especially about the Tonals, Stroll & Shadow)

I did however get a shot of just how many people were there during the raffle:

Yeah, I was being really silly, being nervous.  I wish I got more pictures though – that’s pretty much the extent of them.

I’m so happy how it turned out – it was a lot of fun meeting a lot of people I only knew through the IDP program or Ravelry (shout out the LSGers/Rubberneckers!  Nope, still not shipping to Scotland.).  I’m so excited for future events – we’re already planning a possible one for our new fall yarns that will be even bigger. 🙂

You know as a knitter, I consider myself so lucky to live in the PNW that would be the (Pacific Northwest for those not familiar with that term).  We have great yarnies & festivals here and the knitters/crocheters/spinners/weavers to support them.  We were playing around with Google Analytics the other day at work & the term knitting is searched by people in Portland more than anywhere else. (Seattle was number 2). Casey at Ravelry said something similar a few weeks ago on twitter as well.  It just makes me so happy.

Not only that, we have fantastic designers as well!  I realized both major projects I finished in the past week were by designers here in the Portland/Vancouver metro area (and, actually, now that I think about it, another project I started & finished in the past couple of weeks – Bunny Nuggets – is by Rebecca Danger, who lives up near Seattle.)

First, a purchase from Sock Summit that I finally finished.

Rita Prairie House Shawl

Started: February 6

Completed: April 11

Yarn: Lotus Yarns Chakra in Pinup colorway Rita

Pattern: Prairie House Shawl by Star Athena

Needles: size 4 Harmony

Notes: I actually started this with a different Lotus Yarn quite awhile ago but I didn’t like how it was looking.  Since I fell in love with this yarn while helping out Melanie at Sock Summit, it made sense to work it up in Star’s pattern that I got there.

This pattern was wonderful, though I had to fudge the last couple of inches because I ran short – in fact when I finished I had about yard left.  Whew!  Luckily, it’s not noticeable since I will pretty much wear as a scarf anyway.

And in my last post I said I was giving myself a goal of finishing a sweater in 2 weeks. Well, that didn’t really happen, but I did finish it in a little over 3 weeks & finished it just in time for our Knit Picks event (more on that in a later post)

My Vest

Started: March 13

Completed: April 4

Yarn: City Tweed DK in Lemon Curd

Pattern: Adagio Tunic Vest by Suzanne Frary

Needles: Size 4,5,6 Harmony

Notes: Who knew that I would love a yellow vest.

But I do.

It took me awhile to pick the color actually – I love City Tweed & really wanted to try the DK weight.  Finally I settled on Lemon Curd & I’m glad I did.

When Suzanne posted this on her blog, I was in love.  Cables!  In the round! So I decided to actually make my first vest.  I still don’t think vests are all that flattering on me, but oh well. It’s comfy & good for our crazy weather at the moment.

Another thing that’s new for me – a cowl neck.  I hate turtlenecks on me (plus I don’t like things tight on my neck) but a cowl…hmm, I figured I’d try it.  And yep, love it.

I’ll be wearing this a lot.

So I was going to write about the Knit Picks event that I coordinated but this is a bit long for a post already.  I have a post here on my other blog but I’ll put up a more detailed post here in a couple of days.

So, um, hi.

I took a bit of an unintentional break from this blog – I think between blogging for work, Project 365, and Twitter/Ravelry/etc, I just didn’t have the energy.  I’ve also been keeping to myself a lot lately in my personal life – I’ve been in a funk for the past couple of months – and since this is my personal blog, I just didn’t feel like writing about myself.  I almost thought about giving it up completely but I do really miss having a space of my own to write – it feels more private than something like Facebook – even though it’s really not.

So I thought I’d finally resurrect the blog to show off a FO that I have been working on since July.  How sad is that?  But finally, it’s done & my first sweater in over a year

Tabby Calluna

Started: July 25 2009

Finished: March 13 2010

Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed HW in Tabby

Pattern: Calluna, with major mods.

Needles: Size 7US

Notes:  Of course I didn’t work on this nonstop since July – I may be a slow knitter but I’m not that slow.  First it was the horrible heat that went on at that time last year.   Then after working on it for awhile, it was time for holiday knitting.  Then I did a bunch of small things for myself because of all that holiday knitting.  Finally in February I picked it back up & worked pretty much nonstop on it because I was worried I would never finish it if I didn’t & I did really want this sweater.

Twirling!

It was worth it – I’m so in love with this.

I did a tons of mods – pretty much I decided halfway through that I really just wanted another Amelia on the top, so this sweater is a combination of both.

  • I followed the pattern for Calluna to the armholes. I made two inadvertent changes because I wasn’t paying attention – did seed stitch for the back panel instead of moss & made the top cable smaller (I also added a an inch to the length but that was on purpose)
  • I set it aside and started the sleeves. Cast on 45 stitches each, knit in garter for 3 inches, then started st stitch – I wasn’t going to moss or seed for the entire sleeves. eek. Increased 2 stitches every inch & knit for 19 inches because I wanted long sleeves & I have monkey arms.
  • Attached sleeves just like Amelia. Decreased on arms every row to the end.

  • I started the button holes sooner & made more than either pattern. I wish I had just started at the bottom though.

  • I did not want a shawl collar but I did want it higher than Amelia. I pretty much followed Calluna again & tried on the sweater until I figured out how high I wanted it, then put the band on holders & decreased like Calluna.

I love this yarn – honestly it’s my favorite sweater yarn.  It’s so so so soft & cuddly – it did grow, as expected with an alpaca blend but I don’t care.  I love tweedy yarn & I love how the cables look in it

Granted, I won’t get as  much wear out this sweater as I’d want to – spring is on the way! But still I plan on putting it on as much as possible.

I felt so embarrassed how long it too me to finish this that I’ve set a challenge for myself – knit a garment  within two weeks.  See, while I did participate in the Ravelrylmpics, I don’t feel I challenged myself as much as should have.

While I love them (it’s the Temple Cats pattern & I adapted it for some matching mitts) I finished them in like 5 days.  So now it’s time to step up in my own little knitalong

Okay, so it’s sleeveless, but it is in DK weight – it’s still a challenge for me.  Funny enough, I didn’t plan it this way but it’s the same designer as my Olympics project – Suzanne Frary, who is awesome.  And yes, it’s City Tweed again.  I’m not normally a vest wearer or a color yellow wearer but I really like this pattern.  So we’ll see how it goes.  I’m planning on combining it with my Project 365 too – only taking photos of myself is a little boring (there are a lot of pictures of my feet) so I figure this with reinvigorate me with it.

So that’s all the knitting news!  Hopefully I won’t go as long between posts again.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season…I’m trying to get my act together with updating this blog & my knitting projects – I haven’t even been keeping up with adding projects & stash to Ravelry!  Now I’m just trying to enjoy my last few days with CoffeeBoy until he goes back to MA then I hope to get back into a regularly updated blog.

I’m also going to attempt to do Project 365 – My flickr set is here.  I’m really terrible at keeping up with projects like this – which is why I hardly ever do KALs – but I want to get back into the habit of taking pictures.  And I have some healthy changes planned for myself, so I think keeping a record of it will be neat. 🙂

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. 🙂

Apparently, NaBloPoMo to me means no blog posts at all during November

Zero! My favorite Nightmare Before Christmas character! 🙂

Sorry about that, I’ve been busy with my kickass new job (which I can’t post about – yet.  Sorry!), plus most of the interesting crafty projects I’ve done are gifts.  Also my computer where my I upload my pictures is being very temperamental (hence poor Zero up there was photographed with my phone).  I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this week with my family (baking up a storm – Pumpkin Cheesecake, Hot Artichoke Dip, and my Homemade Stuffing, all from scratch) and of course the return of my CoffeeBoy in mid-December.

Hope all is well out there in blogland!  I’m still reading but not commenting much & part of my job is using Ravelry (how cool is that?) so I’m still out & about.  Hopefully I’ll be able to talk about my new job by my next post 🙂

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?

 

What do you do when you’re sick and sad & lonely because there’s no one to take care of you or even talk to?

You become one of those weirdos who creates their own friends.

It hasn’t been a great week – mostly because I’ve been sick (not H1N1 or anything, but pretty miserable for most of the week).  And I’ve fallen in love with the Danger Crafts creatures (so much I started my very first Ravelry group for them) So I spent most of the week in isolation (to keep whatever I had to myself) making several for gifts…and for myself.

First is Crowley.  He’s my favourite.

His favourite book is Good Omens, which he is named after.  I used some old Merino Style I had in the stash, so he’s soft & sweet.

watching the rain

watching the rain

This pattern is Frances The Charismatic Monster.

Then there’s Greeny Maddox

He’s slightly big & dopey but loves everyone around him.  He also thinks  the Toy Story movies are the greatest ever (Rex is his favourite).  I used some beautiful Araucania Limari (alpaca, silk, merino – yum) I bought on clearance at Tuesday Morning & while I could have saved it for a scarf or something, I decided it should be a big green monster instead.  He was going to be for one of my nephews but, while this is such soft yarn, it’s not great for a messy 4 year old.  So now he’s my hugable monster

This pattern is Maddox The Mischievous Monster.

Finally these guys:

They are the intellectuals of the bunch & sit around discussing their relatives, the polar bears.  I used some Comfy in the stash & are going to my youngest niece for Christmas.

Both are from the pattern Herman the Enigmatic Bear.

I should work on other Christmas presents but honestly I can’t stop making these guys.  While I’m feeling a little better, my brain is still fuzzy so these lovely pattern fit the bill.

…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!

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