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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stripey Handspun Goodness!

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I've gotten quite a bit done on my Moebius! I'm almost to the point where I'll start working the lace edging (which is a nice, wide edging). I'll have to start carrying the pattern around with me to work the edging, but I'm hoping it will still be a portable project. I'm also loving the way the color is shading from tone to tone across the knitting - so much fun trying to figure out what's going to happen next!

I've gotten used to people asking what I'm knitting when I'm knitting in public now. (I have a few pretty regular knitting in public/waiting on Caleb locations and people are not as afraid of me as they were at first - they ask questions about it now.) On this project, the best way to answer the "What are you knitting?" question seems to be "Scarf." Yes, this is more of a cowl, and it's a Moebius, which is so much more interesting than a scarf, but since I can't explain the whole concept of the Moebius and count stitches in the pattern, Scarf just works better. Just a little public service announcement if anyone is thinking of knitting a Moebius in public. Trust me.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Metro

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I got some knitting done on Metro over the weekend! (I also got my closet cleaned out, but that's not really a blog post.) It's time to measure again and see how close to the underarms I am. I'm also getting close to the place where the collar starts with the cable twists and things get interesting there. I apologize for the overexposed picture, but it's cloudy here so I had to use flash to get anything this morning. At least you can see some of the detail of the sweater in today's picture - it's tough to get details in a photo of a black sweater, although I can see them in real life. I feel bad about showing you guys black rectangles that get increasingly larger, but I know that I'll really get a lot of wear out of a black cardigan when it's all done (who wouldn't just wear it to bits?) So thanks for bearing with me, particularly on cloudy days.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Metro

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Metro is moving right along. I'm about 2/3 of the way to the underarms right now. I've mostly been knitting on this during the day (black yarn and all), but it's not so complex (at this point) that it HAS to be knit during the day. It's more a case of being tired in the evening by the time everyone is fed, all our activities are finished and I get a chance to settle in with Ramius, that I just don't have to energy to knit with black yarn and think about shaping. The Coraline sleeve is much more my speed at the end of a long day (and it doesn't bash Ramius as much as Metro does right now).

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll be back Monday with (hopefully) more progress on these projects!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Something New

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I'm enjoying knitting two cardigans at once, but I decided I wanted a smaller project also, something that would be quick to finish. I spun up some fingering weight BFL this summer, so I went looking for a cowl or loop scarf type thing. Eventually I ended up looking at Moebius cowls and that's the style I decided to go with.

I used this tutorial for the cast on and I'm making the Wave Of Color Moebius (I realized after casting on following the tutorial, that there is a cast on tutorial included with the pattern for a slightly different technique - should have read through the pattern first). I've always been intrigued by the Moebius shape but I've never really done anything in that shape. I've played around with some ideas before, but ended up frogging things. This is moving very quickly and it's got a nice, easy to memorize repeat for the first section of the cowl. The lace edging will take a bit more concentration, but in the meantime this fits in my purse nicely for knitting on the go!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Partial Sleeve

Today I present...

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...the first sleeve of Coraline, so far. The needle is at the top of the picture (working on the Hiya Hiya 9" circs again) but if you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see the genius I-Cord edging. I've never done I-Cord edged sleeves before and honestly, I imagine that if you didn't have sleeve increases just above the I-Cord and were working the sleeves in stockinette, it would probably just roll on you (although I haven't swatched it that way, so who knows). With the shaping of the sleeve and the placement of the increases in this design though, it works beautifully. I still have to graft the beginning and ending of the I-Cord together, but I really like how neat and clean the edge looks with this treatment. Still loving the different tones of the yarn and the 9 inch circs are feeling less fiddly the more I mess with them.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Metro

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Thanks for all the comments and support yesterday! I'll update the blog periodically with how things are going with my running, but I'll still mostly talk about knitting and yarn things!

Over the weekend I got some more done on Metro and I've started the shaping. There's not much more to see at this point, but hopefully you can tell I made some progress on it.

In other random news, this morning I was dropping Caleb off at school and as we were sitting there in the car line waiting to get him to the front door, I looked in the side mirror and saw an armadillo crossing behind us! I've never seen a live armadillo during the day and you can't see them well at night. He just took his time, toodling along, completely ignoring the kids and cars. He was very cute in an armadillo kind of way, but I made sure to mention to Caleb never to mess with one of them as they can carry leprosy (and are actually used to study the disease). Our previous dog, Bear used to go armadillo bowling at night - he would run at them and then right when he got to them, he'd head butt them. They would have rolled into an armadillo ball and would go bouncing away. We didn't encourage this from Bear, but he was usually off leash and had a strange sense of humor.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer and Coraline

It's back to school all over North Texas this week, so remember to slow down in the school zones! I've never had to write a "What I Did Last Summer" essay, but I thought I'd share a little bit of what I did this summer with you guys. Due to a complicated series of events that I will not bore you with here, I have decided to run a half marathon in a little over a year. (I'm not sharing specific details until after the race because this is the Internet and who knows who's reading this.) The thing that makes this so strange is that I have never run. I really don't like exercise and I'm a bit of a lump. But for some reason, I felt like I could do this and having about 18 months (when the idea first took root) to train seemed like a doable goal. So I did a little bit of research, found an app that would coach me, got some shoes and started going. Yes, I started a running program in Texas, in the Summer. I quickly discovered that if I would get going by 6:30 in the morning it was only about 80 degrees and it's best not to discuss humidity. Let's just say that I've seen more sunrises over the past couple of months than I have in my entire life. I'm not a morning person, but I'm not insane enough to try running later in the day at this time of year either. I'm only a couple weeks away from being through with this first training app and so far I've gone from barely making it through the first week to running 2.95 miles the other day. It's not easy, it's hot and sweaty, but it's getting easier. I've got some new muscles that weren't there before and I've lost some weight. Mickael and Caleb have nicknamed me "Slimy Lemmy" when I get back from a run, but they're proud of me for doing this too. The funny thing is, I'm actually enjoying it. I run outside so I get to see bunnies and lizards and dogs going for walks and once I even saw a snake, but he ignored me and was nonvenomous anyway. I'm planning on running a 5K this fall just to prove I can, and it seems like a good short term goal on my way to the half marathon. I decided it was time to share with the blog because this is going to take some time to reach my goal and I might give updates and need some extra support as I try to do this. So, what did you do this summer?

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On the knitting front, I got to the top of the body of Coraline and it will now take a little time out while I knit the sleeves.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Metro Begins

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I've started Metro the other day and here's where I'm at so far. It feels like it's moving pretty quickly but that might just be the needle size (both Coraline and my just completed Featherweight Smoke used US 4's (3.25mm), while Metro is worked on US 8's (5.0mm)). I feel like I've had some major cardigan momentum lately and I don't know if it's wishful thinking on my part that if I knit enough sweaters the weather will change, but for some reason I REALLY WANT TO KNIT CARDIGANS. That's a good thing because I have lots of cardigan amounts of stash yarn and lots of cardigan patterns favorite-d in Ravelry.

Have a great weekend and knit a cardigan!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Coraline, Coiled

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Here we see Coraline coiled up, ready to strike. It likes to sit in this position both in the knitting bag or in the basket (depending on where I happen to put it down). It finds that this position both keeps it warm and allows it to hide behind the yarn sitting next to it. Camouflage is so important for survival in the wild (and also apparently for Fall of 2010).

I'm about 3/4 of the way on the body of Coraline to the place where I'll set it aside and make the sleeves. While this section has been a big stretch of stockinette and has taken some time to knit, I think that once I start the sleeves that I'll be more than halfway through the entire project. The yoke section, after I join the sleeves and body, shouldn't take too long to work and then the sweater is done.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ramius

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Mommy got a new iPhone app - Hipstamatic - and she's been taking pictures with it ever since she got it. She says it makes her pictures look vintage. I say I make her pictures look amazing. Here is one of the pictures she took of me, looking great as always*. She's also taken pictures of other things (I cannot imagine why) and she gave the iPhone to Caleb and he took pictures of all sorts of strange things - none of them Me. I mean, when you have such a fabulous specimen of a cat to photograph, why would you take pictures of plants? I bet she takes pictures of yarn or something silly like Finn soon! Crazy people, I need a nap.
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*Ramius taken with Roboto Glitter lens and Float film, with no flash. Orchid (Daddy's, not mine) taken with John S lens, Ina's 1969 film, and Standard flash.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Featherweight Smoke

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Here it is, all blocked and finished up! I briefly considered showing it modeled but since we are starting week 3 of triple digit temps around here, I just couldn't bring myself to put it on.

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All the details - Featherweight Cardigan, made in the smallest size, using The Loopy Ewe's Solid Series, on US 4's (3.25 mm). I did all the edgings in the Simple Cable Rib from Knitting On The Edge (adjusting stitch counts to fit the repeats as necessary). Using the fingering weight yarn makes the sweater more opaque than the laceweight, but you also lose a bit of the drape and airy-ness of the sweater.

I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll make a Featherweight Cardigan and I know I'll use this yarn again as well. I might have to try a Featherweight made from fingering weight yarn with a collar of Kid Silk Haze, like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Metro

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(I finished my Featherweight Cardigan on Saturday and it's currently being blocked. I'll get photos of it later today and blog it tomorrow.)

The vote as of yesterday was 15 for Metro and 2 for the Tea Leaves Cardigan, so I'll be starting Metro! Since it has 3/4 sleeves and the Tea Leaves has long sleeves, the Metro will probably be wearable first anyway. Both styles will fit my wardrobe, so once I finish Metro, I'll knit the Tea Leaves Cardigan.

There were several questions asking what yarn I was going to use. The yarn I'll use for Metro is Jaeger Shetland Aran in black. I bought a huge amount of this when it was discontinued and while I wouldn't ordinarily use such a dark color for cables (it's hard to see cables in dark colors), this sweater isn't heavily cabled and the alpaca in the yarn adds a little bit of shine, so I think the cables that are there will show up just fine. You can see in the photo of the ball of yarn above that even though it's black yarn, I didn't lose any detail photographing it (so it won't be like blogging a black mohair sweater in process).

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Sleeve, Take Two

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I did reach my goal yesterday of finishing the first sleeve and starting the second one. This one should move faster since I won't have to stop and measure, I can just knit the number of rounds I worked on the first sleeve. Today's goal is to finish the second sleeve. Then I'll just have to work the front/neck band in the cabled rib pattern. I still hope to finish it by the end of the weekend.

I haven't quite decided which sweater to cast on next. I'm thinking either Metro or the Tea Leaves Cardigan. Tell you what, since you guys are the ones coming here to see what I'm doing, you pick which cardigan you want me to knit next. Just leave a note in the comments and I'll cast on the winner. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sleeve, Take One

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I'm almost finished with the first sleeve of my Featherweight Smoke Cardi. I hope to finish it today and get started on the second sleeve. I've set myself a goal of finishing this little cardi up this weekend. I don't think that's an impossible goal and I've got a whole list of cardigans I want to knit this Fall. (Never mind that we are almost two weeks into triple-digit temperatures around here, at some point, I'll wear a cardigan.)

I sat down a few weeks ago with the yarns I have in my stash in cardigan amounts and matched them to my favorites in Ravelry. As it turns out, I've got a pretty good selection of potential cardigans sitting here. I'll be adding the school pick up line to my knitting time fairly soon, so I should be able to get some cardigans done.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coraline and Things That Go On Behind The Scenes

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I've gotten another couple of inches on the body of my Coraline Cardigan. Clearly, there is more stockinette to go, but I think I'm about halfway to where I need to be to attach the (currently unknitted) sleeves. I'm still amused by the color shifts and the random sparkle, but Ramius says it's starting to bash him in the head at this point.

The yarn may be providing some entertainment for me, but when it comes time to photograph this project for the blog, I have to do some work to show you anything. The knitting is rolling up on the needle quite a bit. Since (I assume, I might be wrong) no one's here to see a log of knitting, I spread it out between my heels and hold it down while I photograph it with my hands. Just a bit of blogging gymnastics to get a decent shot of what I've done. Fortunately, the gauge swatch I made stopped rolling after I washed it. I might put the stoppers on the ends of the cables when I get to the Add-The-Sleeves place and wash and block this lower body section while I knit the sleeves. Or I could just let the whole thing roll up and fix it all at once when I'm done.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Drive By Blogging

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Just a quick post this morning! We're on the last part of Summer before school starts and Caleb and I are trying to get things together for that, as well as squeeze in a little bit more Summer fun. I didn't get very much knitting done yesterday because I was cleaning and straightening my pantry. I still have two more shelves to go, but it's looking a LOT better than it did.

So instead of showing you progress on one of my projects, I give you a little something that came in the mail yesterday - The Loopy Ewe's Fourth Anniversary Kit*! This is the first anniversary set I've ever gotten from them and I love it! The mug is just adorable, the pattern looks like a nice sock pattern, and the yarn is one of the Pink Lemon's favorite colors ever! It's Dream in Color's Smooshy yarn with cashmere (a new blend for Smooshy) and I'm thinking it's going to be a small shawl or scarf instead of socks. No time to figure out what pattern I'll use, I can figure that out when Summer's over!

*The kit is sold out now, but they will be carrying the new Smooshy yarn in other colors as soon as they get it in.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Edgings

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I'm moving right along on the Featherweight Cardi! I got to the lower edge over the weekend, so it was time to figure out edgings. I had been thinking about some kind of cabled rib and I found this one in Knitting On the Edge (p. 31, in the hardback, at the bottom of the page). I had to adjust my stitch count a little bit for this to work out, so since I was looking for an edging that wouldn't pull in at the lower edge once it's blocked, I increased stitches to get the correct stitch count. I also didn't change to a smaller needle size. Even though I have cables in the rib, it will block out straight at the lower edge.

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I will probably decrease to the stitch count I'll need on the sleeves because I don't mind if that edging is tighter. (If you look at the right sleeve, you can see my new 9 inch circular needle on that sleeve.) When I do the collar, I'll increase stitches to get my stitch count and block the fronts out straight, but let the area around the back of the neck pull in so it shapes itself right.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Featherweight, Smokin'!

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Yes, it really is moving along that quickly! I'm on the straight stockinette body and if there was ever such a thing as autopilot knitting, this is it. Like my first Featherweight, this one is riding around in my bag and primarily being knit in public while I wait for Caleb. In a few weeks, we will add the school pick up line to my public knitting time so whatever is riding around in my handbag should really grow quickly.

I've been doing some handbag re-thinking and I'll be trying something new this Fall. I love the Namaste bag, but I've found that there are times (sit down, this is shocking) when I don't need my knitting. I don't need it at the grocery store. I don't need it to run in and out of the dry cleaner's or vet's. For those places, I just need my wallet, phone and a place to stash my car keys. So a couple of weeks ago, Mom and I went to the Vera Bradley store (not a store that carries Vera Bradley, but a real live, honest to goodness, Vera Bradley store). It was amazing and so covered in prints and colors and quilted goodness - they even offered us Vera Bradley bottled water! So cute! Anyway, for Fall I got the Frannie to hold my essentials (wallet, phone, keys) and the Side by Side to hold my knitting and to toss the Frannie into when I need a bigger handbag. I got them both in the new Barcelona print (it's the default color for the Side by Side in the link). I'm hoping this system works out for me and saves me from toting everything around when I only need a couple of things. I won't start carrying it until school starts since the color says "Fall" to me. Fingers crossed that my handbag plan works...

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Coraline

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Back on Coraline yesterday! I've gotten about 6 inches done on it now. At this point in the design, it's great TV knitting and Ramius doesn't mind sitting on my lap while I knit as long as he doesn't get bashed by it too much. I'm enjoying the subtle color shifts of the yarn as I go along - you can see the slightly lighter and darker stripes in the knitting. What you probably can't see is the tiny bit of sparkle in the yarn. One of the plies began life as a Kitchen Sink Batt (she's currently out of everything in the store, but it looks like she'll be back next week) and those usually have a tiny bit of Angelina in them. Angelina is a very fine metallic fiber you can add in when you card fibers. There is just the perfect amount of sparkle in the finished yarn and in the knitted fabric, you see the sparkle just as it disappears. It almost makes you wonder if you imagined the sparkle, but then you see it somewhere else. It's kind of sneaky that way. Hmmm, sneaky sparkles - sounds fun!

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Featherweight Smoke - Now With Sleeve-y Things!

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My second Featherweight Cardigan is zipping right along! I've now got the stitches that will become the sleeves on waste yarn while I finish up the body. I looked a little bit through a couple of my stitch dictionaries at possibilities for the neck/front bands. I've got a couple of ideas for that area, but I'm thinking I might need to swatch in order to decide what will work the way I'm thinking. It just occurred to me (while I'm sitting here in my pajamas typing this), that it might be fun to do a Featherweight in a standard, non fuzzy fingering weight yarn (like this one) and do the front/neck band in Kid Silk Haze in stockinette, but instead of just working a few inches, work it really wide so when you wear it, the KSH drapes around your neck and hangs more like a scarf. I wonder if that would work?

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Coraline

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I've gotten slightly more than the width of the hem worked on Coraline now. You can see some of the shading variation in the yarn in this picture. I was wondering over the weekend why it was taking so long to get anywhere on Coraline while I felt like I was zipping right along on the Featherweight Cardi. Finally I realized it was a matter of stitches. On Coraline I'm starting from the bottom edge and working up so I was working on the total number of stitches for the body section. On the Featherweight Cardi I'm working from the neck down and I got to start out with only a few stitches, making this first part seem to go fast, even though I'm increasing up to the full body (and sleeve) stitch count. So basically, while I'm seeing more progress on the Featherweight Cardi, it's not really going any faster than Coraline is. (And when I get to the yoke part of Coraline, and I'm decreasing into the neck, it will really move along quickly.)

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