Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday v.69

Happy Wednesday, guys!  It's an epic day, 'round these parts.  I finished the socks!  Both of them, even!  Aaaaaand... I got to start on a new project.  Very exciting, indeed.

No more about the socks until Friday, as I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I love them a bunch, and they turned out super comfy as a bonus.  Yay!

To celebrate, I knitted up a swatch for Lorna Suzanne fully expecting that I would need to go down a needle size.  Not so much, actually.  I was almost spot on, running a fraction of a stitch bigger than the gauge that was called for.  This is perfect, since I'm knitting a size that's just a tiny bit optimistic at this point.  I'm still losing weight, but not at last summer's heartbreak rate, so I'm hoping it should all work out perfectly.

With the gauge swatch getting the nod of approval from my Monday Night Knitting pals,  I dove in and cast on for the actual sweater last night.  181 stitches.  And then I knitted 3 rows of the garter stitch border.  All on the wrong size needles.  Sigh.  Really, I'm just here to boost your knitterly self-esteem.  See how much lamer I am than everyone else?  You're welcome.  Anywho, once I got that bit sorted out, it looks like this...

And here's a close up that's more accurate for color.  Sorry!

Breathtakingly beautiful, no?  I'm just now finishing the first repeat of lace and am a nervous wreck since I can never tell how lace is supposed to look until it's too late.  It looks so easy and yet I always manage to muck it up.  Not my strong suit for sure, but really I should be able to do this.  Right? 

The Peerie mitts are still hanging around, about to be frogged back to the cuff lining since Mr. Right's mom, bless her heart, took one look and pointed out a mistake in the first round of ribbing.  More sigh.  See?

I really want them to look as great as the hat, so back we go.  But with the socks having graduated to FO status, they're the dpn project on the front burner and progress should be faster over the next couple of weeks.  Here's hoping.

And now, if you'd be so kind as to leave any examples of dumb things you've done in the comments, I'd be very appreciative of the company.  Then, once you're done making me feel better, you should go check out all the other WIPs out there this week.  I'm sure they're knitted on the right size needles.  Mostly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

FO Friday -- I'm a WINNER Edition

Happy Black Friday, folks!  Hope y'all are surviving the crazy shopping crush out there.  Did you hear about that woman who was shopping last night and started pepper spraying anyone who got close to something she wanted to buy?  Utterly insane.  Personally, I'm skipping the whole mess and going 4-wheeling up in the mountains with Mr. Right and his parents today.  More fun for sure. 

Sorry, sidetracked...  It's also FO Friday!  And Fiber Arts Friday!  And I totally made some stuff with fiber and finished it.  What a happy coincidence.  In between spurts working on Sock, I cranked out a couple of Puffs for my fledgling Beekeeper's Quilt project using some of the awesome yarn that showed up in the yarn swap I hosted last month.

First up was some beautiful stuff from Nikki at Being careful not to twist.  It's from Three Irish Girls and worked up into some really fun stripes.  (Apologies for the photos.  Today is not one of the 310 sunny days a year that we have in Colorado - Ed.)
Knitting 006
Next is from a little ball of Mystery Yarn contributed by Kris from my lunchtime knitting group.  I have no idea what it is, but it's got a little shine to it and is so soft. 
Knitting 004
I'm really hoping I have enough of both left to squeeze another puff each out of them, but we'll see.  If not, I've definitely been saving all my scraps in hopes that I'll be able to work them into a 2-color puff or something.

Now I'm (not so) patiently waiting for my shipment of Candy Skein mini skeins that Tami put together.  Have you guys seen these?  If you're on the Puffy Bandwagon at all, you should check them out.  The colors are fantastic.  Just sayin'.

And, for those of you keeping track at home, this brings the Puff Count to 4.  Only 380 to go!  Yeah, I know.

Finally, in other news...  Look what I WON!!!
Knitting 007
The totally awesome Shannon over at Affiknitty made this neat-o circular needle holder (and was gracious enough to do it in some of my favorite colors), and gave it away on her blog.  And I won it.  Most of you probably don't understand the gravity of this situation, but I don't win contests or giveaways, like ever (the occasional Italian food cook off notwithstanding).  I'm super excited and I love it a whole bunch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.68

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, US peeps!  Happy WIPW to everyone else. 

I spent a TON of time knitting last weekend, since I was on my own and dodging chores like crazy.  I have to say, it was really fun to just play hooky from everything and knit in my pyjamas as much as I wanted.  I actually have some progress to show for it, too:

I finished two Puffs from my super-lovely swap yarn, but you don't get to see those til Friday (see "finished" above).  I'm loving knitting these little buggers, especially in all the spectacular yarn that showed up in the swap packages.

I also finished Sock!  Man, that was a long time coming.  I was so excited that I dove into Sock the Second pretty much immediately.  It's cruising along at a pretty fast clip now.
Knitting 001
I think I have the opposite of Second Sock Syndrome -- once I finally manage to squeeze the first one off the needles, I knit like crazy until I have a pair.  Weird, no?  Anyway, I'm hoping to wear these before the end of the weekend, but we'll see. 

And, I started on the Peerie Mittens.  The cashmere cuff-lining is all done and soooooooooo soft.  Love.  The ribbing has started, but I'm having some laddering issues with the colorwork on the dpns and they're making me feel stabby.  It looks like this...
Knitting 002
The green is the cuff lining, the red at the bottom is the provisional cast-on and the rest is the actual part of the cuff that will be visible. It looks kind of odd now, but I have high hopes!

The hopes are kind of long term, though... I've decided that between the puffs and the socks and the mittens that there are WAY too many dpns in my life at the moment, so I'm going to finish the socks before doing any more mittening.  I'm also going to finish swatching and cast on for Lorna Suzanne, since knitting some epic long rows on a nice set of dependable circs sounds like heaven right now.

It also sounds like a great way to start a long weekend.  Hope you all enjoy yours, too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

FO Friday -- Peerie Posies Edition

Yay, Friday!  Yay, awesome finished hat!  I'm too excited to do anything but this:

(with apologies for the wonky photos, we were running short on time...)


and this:


and this, for no reason other than I love my goofy old gimpy dog.

(There's a reason we call her the "Spitting Cobra".)

This hat is one of my favoritest knitting projects ever.  It was a little intimidating with all the colors (7) and the number you had to knit with at once (2) and the ends that needed to be woven in when all was said and done (eleventy billion), but really it wasn't hard.  And it was SO worth it in the end. 

Several people have commented that colorwork seems too scary, and I totally would've agreed with you all a few weeks ago.  Now I'm here to tell you to get over your fears and give it a shot.  These videos by the folks at Philosopher's Wool are incredibly helpful in getting started and Kate's pattern is kind of genius, so you pretty much can't lose.

Here are my bits of advice for anyone who wants to take the plunge:

If you're the type who snips yarn at a color change and then weaves ends in rather than carrying them along, stop and do it along the way.  I wove ends at the end of every chart and it worked great.  Otherwise, I think I might've been swallowed up by the sheer volume of them.

Go read Kate's explanation of the crown decreases on her blog.  It makes loads of sense out of something that looked utterly nonsensical to me.

Finally, don't tug too hard on that Rowan Fine Tweed when you're trying to keep from getting ladders between dpns.  I broke the yarn 3 separate times resulting in lots of tinking back to get a tail long enough to weave in and one or two swear words, and I wasn't even pulling that hard.

That's it.  I'm working on the mittens this weekend, and Sock and some Christmas stuff, keeping busy while Mr. Right is traveling for a long weekend.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have some embarrassingly girly TV to watch and a load of uninterrupted knitting to attend to.

Hope y'all have a fabulous weekend!  You could kick it off by visiting FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday for lots more yarny success stories.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.67

Welcome to In Between WIPs Wednesday, where everything is just wrapped up or gearing up to start. I hate it when that happens.

First, the really awesome news. Remember Friday, when I was all whiny about not being able to find the mistake in my hat? And when I spent 2 days looking for the error? Yeah, I couldn't find my mistake because there wasn't one. Sometimes I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. Anyway, it's finished and blocked and waiting for its close up on Friday. So no pictures for you today.

Now, I'm about to start on the matching mittens. I'm super excited about them, especially since the cuffs are lined in squishy yarn. The pattern calls for angora, but I had a little bit of leftover cashmere laying around (!), so I'm using that instead. I had high hopes of casting on at lunch today, but today turned out not to have lunch (boo!), so my mittens look like this:
I promise they'll be a bit more photogenic next time.

I've also managed some more roundss on good ol' Sock who's inching ever closer to the finish line, even though it doesn't look like it at all.
Finally, there's a bit of holiday knitting about to start, with a cute little project that I'm dying to show you. Unfortunately, the recipient reads this blog so you won't get a good look until after the gifting happens. Lucky for you, I can show you its current state without revealing too much.
I know, you're over the moon with excitement right now. Really, I'd be farther along with at least 2 of these projects-to-be, but on Saturday the dog and the lawn edging came together in a way that involved 11 stitches, 3 hours at the vet's office and another 3 hours cleaning the Dexter-style bloodbath out of my carpet, and my tile, and my car, and... On the plus side, the vet can now afford that trip to Tahiti he's been dreaming about. On the plus side for reals, the doggie is just fine, and running around with her sewn-together paw like nothing happened. Proof:
Now you should go check out WIPW for some actual in-progress craftiness, instead of in-planning craftiness.

See you Friday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

FO Friday -- I Broke It edition

You know how I was thisclose to being done with Peerie Flooers on Wednesday, and was all excited to show it off to y'al on this lovely FO Friday?  Yeah, not so much.  I'm about 3/4 of the way through the crown decreases now...

And I have exactly the right number of stitches on my needles.  And the order of stitches from the previous row is correct.  And I'm totally missing a stitch before the first decrease on the next round.  I need 7 stitches to work before the decrease.  I have 6.  I cannot figure this out for the life of me.

So instead of finishing the hat and wearing it this weekend, I've been fiddling back and forth for the last 2 days trying to figure out where my problem is.  I've finally admitted defeat, and tomorrow am frogging back to the last color change to see if that helps.  Boo.

Here's where the pretty picture of my flowery hat would go. 

And here's what you get instead.  It's a metaphor for how I'm feeling right now (well, not really the mustache part)...
Next week.  For reals.  I hope.  Now head over to FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday for lots of happier tales and more yarny adventures.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday v.66

Howdy, WIPW-ersnappers!

This is a truly bizarre Wednesday.  It's one on which I have pretty much nothing to share with you.  I know!  I can't quite believe it either.  Here's what happened...

Peerie Flooers is sooooo close to done that I don't really want to show it to you and spoil the big reveal.  So you get this. 
Still pretty, right?

I will say knitting the first part of this hat on my Knit Picks Harmony circs was pretty much the most fun I've had knitting.  Ever.  Knitting the last part on my Clover bamboo dpns is way, way, way not as fun.  I'm not quite skilled enough to wrestle 5 dpns and one color of yarn in each hand simultaneously yet.  On the up side, the rounds keep getting shorter, and the likelihood that I might stab someone's eye out with a blunt-tipped bamboo dpn is decreasing proportionally.

The Power Puff swap yarn is finally winging its way to everyone who participated.  Sorry that took so long, but it ended up being more work than anticipated to get everything ready to send out.  Hopefully, you'll think it was worth the wait once the package shows up!

Sock doesn't look any different than the last time it appeared, but it will get some love after the hat's done.  I really need to get these things finished so I can wear them.  I'm missing prime sock-wearing weather as we speak.
And finally, my Lorna Suzanne swatch is just the same as it was last time, too.  I'm trying to decide if it will really be my next project, or if something else might slip in ahead of it.  Sexy vestyPeerie mittens?  I have yarn for all 3 of these burning a hole in my stash, so you'll have to tune in next week to see what project bubbles to the surface.

For now, I'll go finish my Crown Decreases of Doom so I can show y'all how it turned out on Friday, and you go check out all the other WIPW projects.  I hear there's Christmas knitting happening out there!

Friday, November 4, 2011

FO Friday -- Super Snug edition

I know I promised Snug would be unveiled last Friday, but I didn't realize how hard it would be to find good toggle buttons.  It took a while, but I got the absolute *perfect* toggle buttons for this sweater, which you may remember from earlier in the week.  Like so...
I LOVE these buttons.  And then I had to remember how to single crochet to add the trim.  And then I added the trim all the way around instead of just on one side.  And then I decided I liked it that way, so there.  And now, it's FINALLY finished.  Like so...
It really turned out pretty cute.  I had grand visions of embroidering a pink flower or two on the front, but in the end it came down to a couple of things.  Thing one:  I can't embroider to save my life.  Thing 2:  I really just want to knit on Peerie Flooers at the moment and I couldn't be bothered.  Is that bad?  Hope not.P1030831
I do have to say that while this pattern looks super simple, it is in fact kind of a pain in the hiney.  Really, I'd rather spend 5 minutes seaming a few tiny seams than a couple of hours doing all sorts of knitting gymnastics to avoid them.  But that might just be me.  It's cute, though.  And I learned all sorts of cool stuff like provisional cast ons and Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off, which is pretty nifty.  All in all, I'd say it's a win. 
Now, I'm staying up at night worrying that I didn't use washable wool, and it's for a baby, and the mom is going to either accidentally turn it into a doll sweater with spectacular buttons or else hate me for giving it to her.  What do y'all think?  Washable only for babies, or do you sometimes gift wooly stuff? 

After you've solved that burning question for me, head over and check out FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday, both crammed to the rafters with neat-o projects made by spectacular people.  That's a win, too.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday v.65

Okay, so I totally blew my exciting show and tell of the week on this post about my Sunday with Ysolda, which you should check out if you haven't seen it, because it was all kinds of fun.

In other news, I've had almost no time to knit in the last week, between meeting knitting celebrities and getting mugged for candy by the neighborhood children (And also every kid within a 30 mile radius. Sheesh.), and various other obligations.

I am, however, totally obsessed with knitting Peerie Flooers.  Look!
Isn't it so amazing?  I'm totally knitting this whole hat with one color of yarn in each hand, and people... it's working!  I know.  Trust me, I'm more amazed than you are.   Even the back side doesn't look half bad:
I just finished with the first repeat of flooers and am already a few rows into the next.  Then, it's just a whole lotta crown decreases between me and a wooly, warm, flowery head.  Yay!

I also knit a swatch for my Ysolda class.
The funny part?  We were all sitting around before the class started sharing how we'd all been up at the crack of dawn swatching so we'd be ready with our on-the-needles swatches, when Ysolda rather sheepishly mentioned that we didn't really need any swatches at all, and there had been a tiny miscommunication between her assistant and the shop.  She went on to assure us that swatching was really, super important for any sweater project and now we were all way ahead of the game.  She's awesome.

Oh!  And on Saturday, Mr. Right and I competed in an Italian food throwdown (don't ask... it's a cooking competition with a bunch of friends that started last January with ribs and after a pass through Mexican food has now landed at Italian cuisine.)  This time, the competition was fierce.  People had been researching and experimenting and doing trial runs with their elaborate dishes for weeks.  We made the lasagna I always make for company.  And we won!  We totally beat everyone else.  What did we win, you ask?  This:
You're jealous, aren't you?  Wait til you see what it looks like in the dark:
Cool, no?  And creepy, too.  We were going to put it in the window last night for trick or treating but decided it might be a bit too scary.

Finally, if you're waiting for swap yarn from me... it's coming!  I hit a little snag last weekend wherein I spent about 5 hours untangling and bundling yarn that someone sent for the swap.  That meant there was not time for visiting the post office, but I'll get it all shipped out on Saturday, promise.

But now, I'm going to go check up on everyone's progress over at Tami's.  It's kind of my favorite thing to do on Wednesdays.