Waiting

Remember when so many of my needles were taken from me at London Heathrow?  Well, when I sorted out what my next knitting projects were to be last week, the two I decided on required some of the sizes that I’m now missing.  So I hopped on one of my favorite websites and ordered some new ones.  I’ve done as much as I can on each project until I get the new needles, and I’m so impatient!  I want my needles, and I want them now!

I know that really this is not a big problem, and Knit Picks always has super fast shipping (it usually takes less than three days), but I’m just rarin’ to go.  I hope that you, wherever you are, have needles happily clicking away right now.

Happy knitting!

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WIP-ping on the Weekend

So, I did indeed decide what I’ll be working on next.  I went back to my list of knitting goals for the year and picked out two patterns that I’ve been wanting to knit for a long time – a second pair of Endpaper Mitts and a Laminaria shawl.  These will both be gifted once their finished, or at least that’s what I’m intending.  I’m using a deep blue wool laceweight for the shawl, and it has been one of my most beloved skeins for several years now – I hope I have the fortitude to see it go.

Ravelry Link

As for the Endpaper mitts, I have a pair of my own that I made a long time ago.  Each year I wear them practically everyday between October and March.  They’ve held up extremely well, except for one thumb which is slowly unravelling.  Once I finish this second pair, I fully intend on starting a third to be finished for the fall and kept all for myself.

I’m using Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn for these, and I’m interested to see how it compares to the Dale of Norway Baby Ull that I used for my first pair.  It’s extremely soft, and seems a bit thinner and less dense than the Baby Ull.  Once I’m done the ribbing I think I’ll be knitting the medium size (just switching to larger needles), since the recipient has slightly larger hands and wrists and I want these to be well-loved and well-worn.

Ravelry link

Ravelry linkFor the full details on these projects (yarn, needles, etc.) you can click on the pictures in this post – they’ll take you to my project pages on Ravelry.

Now I’m going to wind this laceweight into a ball and get back to my homework.  Happy knitting!

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Basic Ribbed Socks

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Finished!  I’m so glad to be done with these socks but even happier that they can finally go on my boyfriend’s feet (just in time for the weather to warm up…).  These are the Basic Ribbed Socks from The Ultimate Sock Book.  I came to this pattern for it’s simplicity and handy stretchiness after a number of false starts with this yarn.  Gauge has not been my friend lately, but hopefully things will be turning around soon.

The pattern is nice and straightforward – a top-down construction with a heel flap, and the ribbing all the way down makes fitting a little easier.  If you’re knitting socks for someone and worried about the fit, these might be a good choice.

I knit the foot a little longer than called for, and then stopped decreasing a little earlier than called for, to give a shorter and squarer toe (32 stitches for grafting, instead of 20).  They’re a bit big on me as you can tell from the picture, but sock models can be hard to wrangle on short notice.  And yes, they are two different colorways!  I really like the mismatching.  I like the blue-green one, though I think the reddish one turned out better in the picture.  The yarn was nice to work with, and should be pretty sturdy.  It’s two different kinds of Regia sock yarn.  You can see the details for all that on my Ravelry page.

These socks have been a long time coming – I think I told my boyfriend I’d make him another pair (after the first one sprouted holes) about two years ago.  I’m going to work a little harder at follow through on gift knitting this year, as I mentioned in my New year’s post.  Not so much because I feel I have to knit things for people, but because it’s fun and feels good.

I’m spending some time this afternoon picking out my next projects and might take a break with a little bit of tatting.  Hooray for casting on!

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It’s Spring Break…

…and here’s what I’ll be filling these last few days with:

Finishing these confounded socks once and for all:

IMG_0861Reading, reading, nail-painting, reading:

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Celebrating the warm weather by working on my (very beginner) hooping skills, playing my gouache paints, watching Netflix, and hanging with the one, the only, the infamous YarnEater.

IMG_0862(Yes, that is the ugliest carpeting in the Eastern United States.)

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A quick update!

Hello there Blog!  I’m currently getting into the swing of a whole week with nothing but unscheduled, unstructured time – I’m on Spring Break!  Tomorrow I’ll be posting an update on what I’m knitting and what I hope to accomplish over these precious few days of not having to do or be anywhere specific (that’s a bit of an overstatement – I have plenty of reading and writing to do for school, but I can do it whenever and wherever I want!).

Until tomorrow, here’s a picture of the actual YarnEater enjoying one of her other favorite activities – being carried around in bags.

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Paints: No Sheep Required

This weekend I bought some painting supplies with a friend.  A little set of gouache tubes.  A 99 cent plastic pallette.  A variety pack of four little brushes.  A block of watercolor paper.  Tonight I broke into my haul.

Gouache 1

 

I can’t remember the last time I painted something – maybe party decorations in college?  But this is great fun.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but there are colors.

Anyone else out there trying new crafts/mediums as spring approaches?  I’d love to hear about it :)

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Thin on the Ground

My blogging has been thin on the ground lately, but if you’re looking for some knitterly inspiration, can I direct you to the Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2014 Look Book?

Worth checking out if you love sweaters, neutrals, and Brooklyn Tweed (how could you not?).

I have been knitting in my absence and will come back to you, dear blog, when I have an FO to show for myself.

Wishing you lots of wool and tea (and early Spring).

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Top 5 Knitting Books

I made a video where I talk about my top 5 knitting books from my own collection.  Hope you enjoy, and let me know what your favorites are!  I’m always looking to pick up some good books.

 

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Thursday WIP

Today I’m taking an hour or so in the middle of the afternoon to work on some socks – a knitting break can really be a great reset button for the day.  If things are going wrong, or my mood is just off for some reason, an hour of watching string turn into clothes by the power of my hands reminds me that I’m in control of some things.

Many people say that they knit to relax, but I have to admit that knitting doesn’t really relax me all that much; but I do find it meditative.  It is totally effortless for me to ‘get in the zone’ and really concentrate while I’m knitting.  So even though my brow may be scrunched up, and my shoulders creeping closer and closer to my ears, it feels good, if not super relaxing, to be so focused on something.

Ribbed Socks - February 2014

So today’s WIP, the “Ribbed Socks” from Vogue Knitting’s The Ultimate Sock Book, will actually be taking my internal experience and extending it outward, out from my head, down my arms, through my fingers, and into the little 1×1 ribbed cuff – it’s like magic.

I hope you all are finding plenty of time for knitting and other sanity-restoring activities – happy Thursday!

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Finished: Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole

First FO of 2014!  This one has been a long time coming, and I’m glad to finally be able to appreciate all its warm coziness.  Today is especially grey, drizzly, and cold, and the Lady Eleanor is already keeping me toasty as I type this.

1-31-14 Lady Eleanor FO

 

The pattern for this is found in the lovely book Scarf Style.  Since I omitted the fancy knotted fringe, this is really just a basic rectangle of entrelac.

I used a lighter yarn on a smaller needle to obtain a smaller gauge than the pattern originally called for.  I wanted something that was a little closer to a scarf than a stole – a ‘starf’, if you will.  My entrelac ‘starf’ used about 5.5 balls of Noro Silk Garden Lite in the colorway 2050, alternating between two dye lots.  I bought ten balls of this stuff on super sale a few years ago, and ended up with five balls of one lot, and five of a different one.  Thankfully, I’m not super fussy about self-striping and self-patterning yarns in general – I like a little unevenness and pooling.  The color distribution in this project isn’t perfect, but it is really pretty.

There is a bit on one of the long sides where I messed up early on and didn’t catch my mistake until I was almost done.  I knit two of the  side triangles one right on top of the other, creating a little tooth on the side.  But again, I’m not really bothered by it, and it won’t be noticeable when I actually wear this thing all scrunched up.

Overall, this was a really satisfying and easy to follow knit.  The pattern was clear and easy to learn after a few repeats.  Entrelac knitting, even though it looks fussy, is really quite rewarding and relaxing.  After sitting down to knit for a while, you can count the number of little squares you’ve finished and clearly see the progress you’ve made, especially with the self-striping yarn.  It’s similar in that way to a granny square afghan, or any kind of motif knitting or crochet project – the little squares build up quite quickly, and it never really drags.

I did have a little trouble with the instructions for the final row of triangles.  My decreases and stitch numbers didn’t work out the way the pattern said they should – but I did something approximately the same, and it worked out fine.

I’m glad to have something new, warm, and colorful to carry me through the remaining weeks of winter.  I’m also excited to have my first finished project of the year!  This has been a wip for a long time, and it feels good to finally be clearing off these needles.

Do you like to cast-off projects that have been lurking, unfinished, in your knitting bag for a while?  Or are you just relieved to be done with them?  Do you feel any sense of obligation to finish projects just for the sake of it?  I think the only thing that really keeps me going on long and/or tedious projects is my excitement to use or gift them at the end of the process.

1-31-14 Lady Eleanor FO 2

 

Now its onward to new and better things – happy knitting!

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