Saturday, July 2, 2011

Many exciting developments

Exciting news the first: I actually finished something!

My Tappan Zee (aka the Zappa Tee) was feverishly finished at 2 a.m. last Saturday in an attempt to wear it to the open house at Sunshine yarns. I blocked it like a madwoman, which included me waking up after 5 hours of sleep and drying it with a hair dryer. There were many worried glances from the boy, afraid I had lost my mind. I love the way that it turned out and think it will quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. However, a 95 degree day in June was probably not the best day to debut it.

Exciting news the second: Speaking of the open house at Sunshine yarns, I scored some YUMMY YUMMY yarns. I ended up with two beautious skeins of sock yarn that I hope to turn into Double Helix, and 750 yards of sport weight in Blackberry (no pictures yet) that I couldn't stop drooling over. I'm not yet sure what it will become, but am excited to find out! It was also a very stellar way to spend a Sunday - good yarn, good food, good yarn, good company, good yarn, a gorgeous view, and did I mention the yarn? I feel lucky to have stumbled across such a stellar group of ladies to knit with.

Exciting news the third: It seems that the trend of making noticeable progress on projects continues. The Coraline and The Dude continue apace. I have finished the 8,493 rows (OK, it's only 110) of never-ending stockinette for the Coraline and am halfway through my first sleeve and last week at Knit Night, I completed the back of The Dude. I am surprised how much I'm loving knitting the Dude. I love the yarn, I love the pattern, and it's flying by. I think the fact that I can only work on it when P isn't around is keeping the love between The Dude and I fresh and exciting :)

Exciting news the fourth: I am having my first linen experience! Kate from the BKC had a sample knit she wasn't really feeling and asked me if I wanted to do it. I have to be honest, when we were originally talking about it, I thought she was referencing this Liesel, which has long been in my queue to knit. However, she was talking about THIS Lisel. This is a knit I don't know that I would ever choose for myself, but I'm surprised how much I'm liking it. It's good "zoned-out" knitting, and I've knit about 9" in three days, so clearly it's flying by. I'm pumped that I'm trying new things, that I didn't have to buy the yarn, and especially that after its life as a store sample, it's going home to me! (Pictures coming soon, they're not very impressive at the moment)

Exciting news the fifth: We moved to Denver! Tonight is our first night in our new place, and I couldn't be happier. My commute to work will be reduced by 40 minutes each way and we're closer to the majority of our friends (and things in general). The house is adorable, and we have a porch, a backyard, a garage, a garden and a hot tub.

Exciting news the sixth: Dudes. I have a yarn room. It's still a work in progress, but P has already set up our "old lady chairs," and tomorrow, we bring down the baskets and bookcases that will attempt to contain my stash. I am so excited about making this room my own, and for all the promise it has!

Shameful news: I finally have assembled all my yarn in one place. I took the biggest box of all the ones that P brought home from work (that white one) and... I couldn't fit it all in. Granted, it's only one sweater's worth that didn't fit, but the point is that it didn't fit. I always talk about how small my stash is, but after seeing it all in one place, I don't know that I can claim that anymore.

I'm surprisingly OK with that :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Focus, Emily. Focus.

So after my last post, I took a long, hard look at myself and reflected upon how absurd it was to cast on for four different sweaters in a one week period.

And then I cast on for another.

You see, I didn't really have a choice. I went on a yarn crawl throughout Denver, and was really, REALLY good. I only bought yarn at one place. Four skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. (There is this purple Malabrigo Silky Merino I didn't buy that haunts my dreams...) Upon getting home from the yarn crawl, I almost immediately cast on for the Tappan Zee (which I mistakenly keep referring to as the Zappa Tee). And with this sweater, it looks as though finally, FINALLY, the Epic Castonathon of 2011 may be passing.

This one seems to be sticking. I knit it on the plane ride back to Milwaukee. I knit it while sitting around dinner, catching up with my parents. I celebrated "National Knit in Public Day" by knitting it at the wedding we went to.

I still have a few inches to go before it's the length I want, but it's actually starting to turn into something that resembles a garment, instead of a three inch strip of nothing. And in the interim, at least it fits someone in this household.

(Ignore the pleading look in his eyes that are saying, "Really, Mom? Please don't do this to me." He loves it.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Must... stop... casting... ON!!!

So. Um. Yeah. About that...

After last week's frog-a-thon, I can't say this was totally unexpected, but this is a little out of control.

Thursday: Frogged the Pole and cast on for the Que Sera (the green one at the bottom)
Saturday: Frogged the Strafford and cast on for Coraline (second from the bottom)
Monday: Frogged a half-completed neon blue tote bag from 2008 and cast on for Shalom (top one)
Tuesday: The yarn for The Dude arrived. I immediately pushed my other three sweaters aside to cast on for this.

So I now have four cardigans, each measuring between 1-3". And it shows no signs of stopping. The Dream in Color is begging to become an Audrey and I'm only ignore the stifled screams from the Wollmeise for so long.


On Saturday, I am going on a yarn crawl throughout Denver with some ladies in my knitting group.

Dear lord. I'll see you next week, when I'm the feature on Intervention.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's Frog-day, Frog-day, gotta get down on Frog-day...

First, apologies to everyone for getting the horrific Rebecca Black song stuck in your head, but it's been in mine for a day and a half, so if I have to suffer, I figured you do too.

My knitting has been rather unproductive lately. It's not for lack of trying, but rather my fickle, fickle nature and a desire to truly love my finished product. With my first few sweaters, I made the pattern exactly as written and ended up with finished projects that I liked, but that didn't fit me very well. My Slanting Gretel was the first sweater I knit that I really, truly loved. My first few efforts taught me a lot about sweater construction, and I finally felt confident enough to try some modifications. I put a ton of effort into the Gretel, ripping back and modifying to make a sweater that fit JUST the way I wanted it to, and it was totally worth all the work.

Until this happened.

I will not go into the details, as it still hurts my heart too much to talk about it. Let's just say that my sweater, my 100% wool sweater, was introduced to the washing machine (by someone other than myself) and their relationship did not go so well. It is felted beyond recognition, and would barely fit a four year old. It's placed on top of my Rosamund cardigan to give you some perspective on just how much it shrunk.

Anyway, despite its early demise, the Gretel really underscored just how important it is for me to really like the projects I'm making. Why put all that time and effort (not to mention money) into something that you not TOTALLY in love with? With this new perspective, I have been a frogging machine.

My Pole? I got about 220 yards into it before I admitted to myself that I wasn't really digging it and would probably never wear it.


It is now becoming a Que Sera.

My Strafford tee? I had the back panel about 90% done before I acknowledged that it was turning into a shapeless sack, wasn't flattering, and I would probably never wear it.


It is now becoming a Coraline.

Though I'm bummed about the countless hours of knitting I just ripped and rewound into yarn cakes, I'm hoping it will be worth it in the end. I'm in the mood for cardigans, and I've coveted both these sweaters since I first discovered them. I think I just need validation from someone that it was worth it...

And I haven't been TOTALLY unproductive. A FO post is coming soon. Until then, here's a taste.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Distractions, and yarn porn

Since the beginning of 2011, I have been working hard to keep my number of works in progress minimal (three or less). I havealways suffered from startitis, and found that when I limited the number of things I was working on, things (GASP!) actually managed to get finished. Imagine
that! I was successful with this goal for an admirable four months. Up until last week, I was humming along on my Endpaper Mitts, and my Strafford Tee. Not quite monogamous, but as close as I get, and I was making considerable progress on both.

And then... this happened.

Last weekend, I went over to a fellow knitter's house for an evening of pizza, knitting, wine and Harry Potter. I already had the four most important ingredients for a fun time, but then this knitter upped the ante. She busted out her stash.

As someone who has only been knitting seriously for three years, my stash is rather paltry. Oh, sure, I have a basket filled with single skeins of sock yarn that were too pretty to resist, and a LOT of Cascade 220 in various colors. However, if required, I could combine all my piles of yarn throughout the house to one medium sized container. This was not the case for this knitter.

In addition to a respectable stash, this knitter has also a generous spirit, and she encouraged me (and the other knitter who was there) to have at it. There were very few stipulations on what we could or could not take, and I ended up making out like a BANDIT!

See that? That's about 900 yards of Dream in Color - Smooshy. It is squishy and fluffy, and the colors are beautiful. I already have big plans for it - it will become an Audrey in Unst.

And this? Three skeins of 100% alpaca, which is so soft I just want to rub it against my cheek (and have often been found doing just that). This is telling me it wants to become a hat and mitten set. Pattern still TBD.

And this - this is the coup de gras. This I felt so guilty taking that she had to reassure me no less than five times that it's been in her stash for years, and that she'd rather see it go to a home where it it would be used and loved and appreciated.

That's over 1,000 m of Wollmeise. 1,000 meters. Of WOLLMEISE. I carry a skein of it around with me everywhere I go, like one of those horrid women with their 2 pound chihuahuas in their purse. I take it out from time to time, just to tell it that I love it, and to admire its vibrant, beautiful colors.

So instead of monogomously plodding away on my sweater and my mitts, I have spent countless hours on Ravelry, dreaming of what these yarns will become. I am using them as motivation to finish my projects, and it's working so far, but all I want to do is start turning them into something amazing.

You know what? Monogamy is overrated anyway :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I did something bad...

So, as the title of this post indicates, I did something bad...

No, not just the bread bowl of cheesy crab dip that the boy and I devoured tonight. In addition, I kinda sorta did this...


I received a gift card to Kinpicks from Pete's mom for my birthday, and kiiiiiiiiind of went crazy.

Let me explain...

My knitting group, the Boulder Knitting Collective, has decided to do a KAL. Having never participated in one, I've decided to join in. So with part of the gift card, I ordered some yarn to make the Pole.

And then yarn for another sweater.

And a scarf for Pete.

And the dog.

And maybe some sock yarn too.


I got this glorious box the day before the "Cast-on" party, and discovered that much to my dismay, I had accidentally ordered the DK yarn when the pattern called for worsted. So I dug through my stash, and found some tweedy Cascade that I thought might work.

At the cast on party, I began knitting with the tweed, figuring I'd stop at our LYS on the way home and pick up a few more skeins of it. I mean, it's Cascade 220! And it's Shuttles! Their selection of Cascade is rivaled by few. Sadly, however, they only had one skein that even slightly resembled what I was looking for. So, alas - I was FORCED to purchase more yarn!

My life is so hard.

So, too, it appears, is the life of this poor Pole.

This is already it's third iteration, and I didn't start working on it until yesterday. From left to right, we have the Knitpicks Swish DK, the Cascade 220 tweed, and the new color of Cascade I was FORCED to purchase. Here's hoping this one sticks.

P.S. Hoping to jump back into regular blogging! FO update soon, for anyone who cares :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm sensing a pattern here

The boy is out with friends tonight, and I have a solid line-up of a Fight Club/Godfather double feature and New Belgium Brewery going on. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to update my Ravelry page. As I was doing that, I came across something very interestng.
I like to think of myself as an eclectic person, as someone who mixes things up. And yet, all five of my latest completed projects contain some iteration of the color scheme of pink and white. Pink socks, cream gauntlets, white cardigan, pink (and grey... shhh!) scarf, and burgandy sweater. They all go very well together. And then I looked at the five works in progress I have, and was taken aback at how monochromatic they are as well. Green-blue sweater. Greenish-blue scarf. Blue swallowtail. Blue hat. And blue/purple socks. It seems as though I have entered my "Blue Period." Just call me Picasso.