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June 27, 2006

Finished: Spherey

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The Specs:
Pattern: Spherey from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy", by Jess Hutchison.
Yarn: Nature Spun Worsted in antique turquoise, and Cascade 220 in color No. 7830
Skeins: about 10 grams of each color
Needles: Size 5 dpns
Start to finish: June 25 - 26
For: Niece O. for her birthday

Notes:
This was a last minute gift for Thunk's niece O., whose first birthday is on Friday. She is our only niece, so thorough spoilage with knitted items is practically required. You might remember her as the adorable recipient of Trelllis last Christmas. She has also been on the receiving end of this baby sweater and this pinwheel baby blanket (those two were pre-blog).

The pattern was well written and easy to follow and Jess' instructions for sewing the limbs onto the body were very helpful. I stayed with the colors she used in the book (they are elliphantom colors, after all) and was able to knit entirely from the stash (hooray!). The only thing I changed was to embroider the eyes on for baby safety. Not much else to say about this one except that it's cute, cute, cute!

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Final Verdict: Love it! Wish I could keep it...

June 26, 2006

Cherry Pie

Saturday morning Thunk and I went to the farmers market and stumbled upon some sour cherries. Pie time!

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I've never been much of a pie maker...this one was only my second (my career as a piemaker was cut short early on when I managed to bake the single most unremarkable apple pie the Midwest has ever seen). Things are looking up though...I would say this one fell under the heading of "delicious." We're going back next Saturday to look for more cherries.

A little preview of things to come:

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June 21, 2006

My voli has picots, does yours?

Picovoli knitting has commenced. Believe it or not, I'm almost to the sleeve cap bits (but it doesn't really take all that long to get there, does it?).

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Once I got a few rows in I (perhaps unwisely) knitted my provisional cast-on stitches together with the live stitches to save me the trouble of going back and sewing them down later. It seems to have worked like a charm...the only tricky bit was remembering to compensate for the extra stitches created by the raglan increases. I'm still waiting to get to the point in the pattern where I find out that I wasn't supposed to do that, but it hasn't happened yet. La, la, la...waiting for the hammer to fall...la, la...


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Been wondering what to do with all those little girly necklace charms you've got lying around? Stitch markers!

I've also been getting some knitting in on River but it looks a lot like it does here, so I'll just let you use your imagination.

That's all I've got. Over and out peeps.

June 18, 2006

Finished: Stripey Regia Socks

I'll go ahead and say it. Fickle knitter, thy name is Elli. First I get you all worked up about new projects and how there will be Picovolis and Rivers up the wazoo and then, you guessed it...I go and work on an old project that you probably don't even remember (we're talking bottom of the basket here). But hey, I finished something!

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Recent shoe purchase inspired by
Amanda

The Specs:
Pattern: Your basic toe-up frankenpattern.
Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf
Skeins: A little under one ball of color 5411.
Needles: Started on Addi size 2 circs, switched to bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 1.5.
Start to finish: Sometime last summer - June 18
For: Me!

Notes:
These socks started out as my first and only attempt at the two socks at once/magic loop method. I managed to knit up to the heels before switching to dpns (yup! I'm a big old quitter). I used my favorite PGR shortrow heel, knitted a k3 p2 cuff and finished them off with a stretchy bind off (the one that involves picking up and binding off an extra stitch at even intervals around the top of the cuff), which seemed to work pretty well. It's a little ruffley looking, but I don't mind.

The Yarn:
Cotton Surf is 41% wool but it still knits like cotton (makes my wrists hurt), is pretty inelastic, and tends to be fairly splitty. On the plus side, it's nice and soft and the colors are nice and fun. No comment on warmth yet...it's too hot to give these more than a five minute test wear. So, not a bad yarn for what it is (being cottony isn't actually a sin after all) but I think I'll stick with wool sock yarn from now on.

Final Verdict: Everybody loves a good sock!

June 11, 2006

New Projects

Don't you think it's high time we had a couple of new projects around here? Me too.

Kricket's River:
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I started this one on Monday and am slowly chugging along on it. I've already had to rip back twice because of stupid mistakes so it's pretty obvious that I'm going to have to learn to respect the River and take my time. The nuptials aren't until August 25, so I'm not in a rush, I’m just not used to having to pay such close attention to every. single. stitch. The pattern is easy enough; it's the fuzzy wuzzy yarn that’s tripping me up. Kidsilk Haze knitters of the world, I salute you.

[Krick, if you’re reading this…every stitch is sheer joy. It’s the most wonderful knit ever.]

Picovoli:
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Picovoli has been on my to-knit list for a while and it looks like it's time has finally come since I need an easy project for travel knitting. That swatch there is a bit pointless, as I changed needle sizes so many times over so few rows that you really can't tell much from it at all. Regardless, I'm going to go ahead and guess that size fives are where it's at since I don't have time to reswatch.

Anyway, I'm off to a work-related conferencey thing in Columbus, Ohio and will be internetless until Thursday. I'm already horribly behind on all things blog-related, so I apologize if I haven't responded/commented/said hi lately...it's going to be a little while longer before I can get to it. Keep the blog warm for me!

June 5, 2006

Finished: Baby Placket-Neck Pullover

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The Specs:
Pattern: Child's Placket-Neck Pullover from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", by Joelle Hoverson. Errata here.
Yarn: Handwork Cora
Skeins: a little over two balls in Caribbean Sand
Needles: Size 7 circs
Start to finish: May 24 - June 3
For: the spawn of Stephanie

The (lack of) details:
You may have noticed that I chose not to embellish. When it came down to it I realized that, given the amount of time I had to work with, I had a far greater chance of making the sweater look royally weird than knitting something wickedly cool. So I've tucked all your fabulous ideas away in my brain for the next time I find myself confronted with a baby sweater. Remind me to ask you guys for advice next time I need a Halloween costume.

Buttons:
The buttons are vintage navy ceramic from the thrift store. What you can't tell from the picture is that the circles on them are just the tiniest bit glittery. Every boy needs a little sparkle, right?

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Mods:
The only thing I changed was to add buttonholes. The original pattern calls for beads as buttons and you're just supposed to push them through the seed stitch band. I thought this was a little cheesy, so I added a couple as I went. I ended up leaving off the third button since I got to the end of the sweater a little sooner than I had anticipated, but I think it looks ok. If anyone asks, it's deliberate, ok?

Notes:
A lovely fast pattern to knit, though it is not, as the book claims, a four-to-six hour project (unless you happen to be a crazy-fast knitter). Still, it's five bazillion times faster to knit than Trellis.

Final Verdict: It’s a winner! The mummy brigade at the shower gave it the thumbs up.

June 1, 2006

Progress (of sorts)

I seem to have two modes: the Elli that knits and the Elli that gets things done. Guess which one of my alter egos has been around for the past week? Yup. I've been getting tons accomplished (we're talking washing the windows AND vacuuming behind the couch people). However, you'll be happy to hear that last night I hopped back on the knitting train and blasted through the yoke on the baby sweater. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until I took a look at the placement of the button band.

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Lighting brought to you courtesy of my window-free office

Looks like I'll be ripping that out and trying again. And in case anyone is wondering, I'm still undecided on embellishment. There were tons of great suggestions (thanks to all of you who weighed in!); I just haven’t made up my mind yet.

In other news: I got my flowers in over the weekend. I've lived in this apartment for a few years now, and I’ve finally figured out that anything requiring much water won’t work since it gets hotter than the Sahara out front in the summertime. So this year it’s all full-sun, draught-resistant, idiot-proof plantings for me! I already love not having to haul water outside every day.

Nasturtiums for the flowerbox (Empress of India...these will be red if they ever get around to blooming). I love how the leaves look like little lily pads, or alien antennae:
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Portulaca (moss rose) for the wine crates. I’m loving the old lady colors, especially the poppy orange. Also pictured, my morning glories (in the ground, which I’m hoping will equal self-watering) and you can just see the geraniums, basil and rosemary off to the left.

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Yay plants! In yet other news: I got some excellent thrifting in over the weekend. More on that later...