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July 30, 2006

Finished: Krick's River Stole

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Yay! I finished it!

The Specs:
-Pattern: River, by Sharon Miller, from Rowan 38.
-Yarn: Kidsilk Haze.
-Skeins: approx. 1.75 skeins in the color Meadow.
-Needles: Size 10.5 aluminum straights.
-Start to finish: June 5 - July 28.
-For: My sister Kricket, for her wedding.

The Pattern: Straightforward and easy to follow. After a couple repeats it was possible to just check in with the pattern at the beginning of every other row, which was nice.

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Mods: There aren't really many ways to get creative with River as it's just a big old lace rectangle. My only real change was to add two extra repeats (I would have only added one but then there would have been thirteen repeats...and we all know that it's just plain bad to make someone a wedding shawl with thirteen repeats. It should be noted that I am not superstitious. My little sister is not superstitious. I know…I'm confused too). Oh, and I didn't scallop the edges when I blocked it. Not really a mod, but it affects the overall look.

Notes: Cute pattern, huge needles (and by extension fast progress)...this was my most enjoyable lace-knitting experience so far. I'm still not a kidsilk haze convert, and in retrospect I should have tried a bit harder to find some size 10.5s with pointy tips that weren't aluminum (too heavy and slippery) but I can get over that.

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Final Verdict: I hope she likes it! If not, I'll steal it back.

p.s. it should be noted that I finished this a whole month before the wedding…not bad, eh?

July 28, 2006

Block me a River

A quick post before we pack ourselves off to Michigan for the weekend...

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Crappy pic courtesy of the gloomy weather we've got going on right now. Sorry.

River is happily blocking on the living room floor, luxuriating in the breeze of our electric fan. The plan is to unpin her this afternoon, take her up to Michigan with us, do a FO photo shoot while we're there and then leave her with my brother-in-law Natey to give to my future brother-in-law Ross to give to my little sister Kricket. Got that? Right.

Blocking details: full soak and string blocking to get those nice crisp edges. You just can't see it because I used green string. Sneaky me.

On to the final order of business for the day. The proud new owner of the Knit.1 mag is...Lizzie! Lizzie, you should have an e-mail from me already so that you can reply with your address. Thanks for playing everybody!

Have a great weekend all! I'll be in the car for at least 10-11 hours this weekend so hopefully I'll have something good to show you when I get back...

July 26, 2006

Yarn. Lots of yarn.

Hmmm…I seem to have bought yarn. This is why I never tell people when I'm on a stash diet.

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On the left there we have Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran* in Tusk (cream, 8 skeins), and Muffin (yellowish, 9 skeins)...I got enough of each for Christmas sweaterage, but I'm not telling which sweaters until I figure out how Christmas on the Blog will be handled this year. The Briggs and Little Heritage 2-ply (6 skeins) was an impulse purchase…I snapped it up when moon tea Julia was destashing a little while back. I didn't have a specific project in mind, but it's also an aran weight and I was rendered powerless by its slightly-heavier-than-worsted-weight siren song.

This package arrived last week as well:
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It's from Steph (she of the beautiful FO shots), who was in a lovely and generous mood and giving it away. I know, I know...crazy, right? I'd never encountered Soft-Kid in the wild before, but imagine something impossibly soft and sportweightish and you'll be mostly there. This begs to be something super-snuggly in the neckwear department. Thanks so much Steph!


Continuing in the theme of giving stuff away, I have an extra Spring 2006 Knit.1 here. This would be the "Travel issue" (the one with all the piratey patterns). The best feature is the "knitting dictionary" where they translate common knitting terms into 10 languages. V. useful stuff. If you want it, leave me a comment and I'll have Thunk draw a name on Friday, ok? Excellent. I'll ship to wherever (as long as you have mail carriers). While you’re commenting, tell me something interesting or funny about yourself…Caitlyn did this a while back and I loved reading the responses she got.

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In actual knitting news: River is almost finished. Almost.

*Rowan is discontinuing all the Yorkshire Tweed yarns which is tragic, because a huge number of patterns from Rowan Vintage Knits call for it. Fabulous deals with free shipping can be found here.

July 23, 2006

Finished: Knucks

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The Specs:
-Pattern: Knucks, by Pamela Grossman.
-Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
-Skeins: Less than one skein (35g) of shade 143.
-Needles: size 4 dpns (size 3 for ribbing).
-Start to finish: July 8 - July 22
-For: Me (still the summer of knitting for me...)

Notes: I made the men's size (just call me Elli of the huge hands) and they fit pretty well...maybe a little largish, but then I didn't think about the potential usefulness of negative ease in gloves. If I were to make another pair, I would probably go down a needle size.

The Pattern: Top down fingerless gloves. Brilliant.

Mods: I shortened them a bit by skipping a few of the plain knit rounds near the end of the thumb decreases. I also left off the embroidery (I know, boring...but I want to wear these at work. If I were to embroider something on them it would be "I'm cold” as that’s how I feel ALL WINTER).

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Final Verdict: We loves them. Yes indeed.

P.S. All this planning ahead for winter is making me think about Christmas knitting already. Don’t hate me.

P.P.S. Is it just me, or are my pinkies abnormally short?

July 17, 2006

I like my cantaloupe radioactive, don't you?

Friday and Saturday were devoted to dying, spinning and plying.

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roving, singles, 2-ply (plus pink merino I Navajo-plied to free up a bobbin)

Score - the vision in my head 0, willful wool 1.

The colorway was supposed to be more of a fiery reddish orange with a little yellow thrown in for interest. The colors I ended up with aren't terrible...I just can't for my life think of anything I'd want knitted out of them. Also, It appears I should have spun my singles more tightly since the two-ply is pretty relaxed and doesn't look very durable.

Oh well, this one lands in the learning experience camp. An overdye might be in order. Unless someone can think of something nice to do with 170g of crappy neon wool...anybody?

July 12, 2006

Progress Report

Heh. It's been a week since I last posted. Anybody else feel like their summer is passing at warp speed? Here's what I've been up to:

Knucks:
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Yeah I know...weird name. But if you can get past that, they're pretty awesome. Every winter at work I just about lose my fingers to frostbite but I’m always way too busy with the xmos knitting to knit myself any F-less Gs. So when I saw the pattern in the new Knitty I jumped on it. I'm all about doing things early this year. If that isn't enough to impress you, I'm using the required yarn (rowan felted tweed) which I already had in my stash thanks to the generosity of the v. wunnerful Angela.

River:
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I have the pattern mostly memorized, I've made my peace with the KSH, and I’m one-third of the way finished already...all is right with the world.

New Yarn! (Installment 1):
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I’ve been pretty good about not accumulating too much new yarn this year, but I’ve been slipping lately. The first of it is eight skeins of Briggs and Young Regal, from Schoolhouse Press, for the Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardi pattern I bought last spring to make for the Thunkster. This was going to be his Christmas sweater, but then I just bought some more yarn today for a completely different “Christmas sweater". Not sure how that will work out. Let's just say I'm not having any trouble finding cute manpatterns lately.

That's it for now. I'm going to go eat toast now.

July 5, 2006

Finished: Picovoli

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The Specs:
-Pattern: Picovoli, by Grumperina, from Magknits.
-Yarn: Knitpicks Shine
-Skeins: Nearly 5 balls in Grass.
-Needles: size 4 circs
-Start to finish: June 20 - July 4
-For: Me (I told you this would be the summer of knitting for me...)

Notes: I knitted the second smallest size. The only mods were to add an extra half inch in the waist and another inch at the bottom. It could really use another half inch or so, but whatever...cotton gets longer with time, right? Just call me Elli of the long torso.

The only thing that bugs me is that the top picots are a little floppy. I think it's because I was knitting a bit looser on those first few rows. In fact, I'm sure of it. And I knew it right after I'd done it, but I didn't rip back. So it's all my fault, really.

The Pattern: Lovely and easy to follow (but then you know that because you've all made one already, right)? The only thing I can add is that the picots are not that bad. In fact, I really enjoyed sewing them down...it's so much easier than seaming but still feeds your inner finisher so that you come out feeling all accomplished and stuff. Of course maybe y'all skipped the picots because you didn't care for them, in which case that's your problem.

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left arm optional

Final Verdict: Love it! Two thumbs up from Thunky as well.

July 4, 2006

Blueberry Pie

Yes, I know. More pie. I promise that this will be it for a while...I think I'm pretty much all fruited out now.

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Saturday: We went with friends to a little farm west of town to pick some blueberries. Just so you know, that bucket there contains 10.5 pounds. At $1.65 a pound, I'm afraid I got a little berry-greedy.

Sunday: I went a bit domestic and made pie (fresh blueberry pie, which is much better than the cooked jam-type pie), and freezer jam, which I don't think turned out because it's still all soupy. As the mountain of berries did not look much diminished, we threw a whole pile into the freezer, and ate enough to turn our insides blue.

Monday: Feeling a bit nauseous at the sight of more than half a pie and a large bowl of berries, we fed the rest to friends.

Tuesday: I will be quite happy not to see another blueberry for a long, long time. I'm going to go and finish up my Picovoli and enjoy my day off now. Happy 4th to all you Americany-types, and happy Tuesday to everybody else!