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April 25, 2007

UFO Roundup

There has been regrouping. There has been knitting.

Need a refresher on what’s on the needles over here at Chez UFO? Me too.

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brittanies, jump rings, and alpaca cloud

Starting back with the oldest and most languishy of the lot, we have the Flowerbasket Shawl, started sometime in the spring of 2005. Those of you who have been hanging around for a while might realize that I’ve only blogged about this project once (back in January of 2006) when I hauled it out in all its neglected glory to motivate myself to get a move on. As you can probably guess, no moves were made…until last weekend.

I’m currently cruising along with less than two repeats to go before the edging. Somewhere in the past two years lace knitting has got a whole heckofalot easier for me. Time to finish this one up!


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Demi: most of a front, all of a back

Ah yes, the lovely Demi. I started her in November of 2005 and the front and back have slowly materialized over time. Problem is that I keep getting distracted by other projects and shunting her off to the sidelines. No more! The goal for Demi is to get her knitted before the weather gets too hot so she’ll be ready to keep me warm when autumn hits. My other secret goal is to get her knitted before Jared and Ashley finish theirs (don’t tell).


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Sockiness

Jaywalkers:
I started the Jaywalkers in late December and I’m only up to the gusset on sock number one. Seems I just lost momentum.

Plain Old Socks:
No problem here! This is my current portable and brainless project.

So that’s the lot. Only four projects total (and two pairs of socks hardly count, if you ask me). The biggest problem is those two ancient hangers-on up at the top. Time to pull a yaiAnn and get them all outa here!


p.s. If you’re wondering where that green baby sweater is…it’s FINISHED! FO report soon.

April 20, 2007

I went, I froze, I stashed

Wendie and I had a lovely time at ye olde Fiber Event on Saturday. It was indeed cold as all getout. And rainy. And muddy. So yucky, in fact, that it seems that most of the animals stayed home and I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was there. So if you need your cute fleecy beasts fix, I'll refer you to last year's post.

Here's what I came home with this year:

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Fingerling wool/llama/mohair, Fleece Artist sock yarn.

My first purchase was some Fleece Artist. I found a lovely skein of sock yarn in shades of green. When Wendie started making covetous noises I absolutely knew I had to buy it. Sorry Wen. You know you have too much sock yarn already.

In another hugely cold corner of an unheated exhibit barn I found a whole shelf of yarn that was going for $1/ounce (which on one hand triggers my "wheee! affordable yarn!" response and simultaneously trips my "what aren't they telling me?" alarm). Most of it was pretty uninspiring, but I found myself drawn to a few lonely skeins of orangey 2-ply fingerling-weight wool/llama/mohair. And then I spotted the same yarn in a natural brown. So now I have 19 ounces of this stuff and no plan. Socks maybe? Anybody know much about llama? I'm going to have to swatch it up and see what sort of itch-factor it has.

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More fingerling wool/llama/mohair.

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8 oz of alpaca-y goodness, 8 oz of Icelandic roving.

My favorite find was some really soft and lovely dark brown Icelandic roving from a farm right here in Bloomington. They've got a nice website where you can read about the sheep (my roving was a blend from Huldah, Saphira, and Shua). They've also got an amazing looking adopt-a-sheep program which gets you a whole fleece (raw, processed or as yarn), an adoption certificate, quarterly letters about your sheep, and a bunch of other stuff. I find myself sorely tempted.

The plan for this weekend is to regroup and get knitting on some of those UFOs. I've been a little lazy lately and have just been knitting away on some plain socks. *Yawn* Coming soon: more finishing! Less futzing around!

April 13, 2007

Get yer fiber

Tomorrow I’ll be making my yearly sojourn north to Greencastle Indiana for a bit of wooly fun at THE FIBER EVENT.* I’ll be there with the lovely and accomplished Wendie, who is flying in from Virginia solely for the purpose of being my yarn-buying companion. Ok, I’m a liar. She’s really out here for other reasons, but it’s a happy coincidence that she’s around the one weekend that we have a fiber festival.

At any rate, if you happen to be at the Putnam County Fairground tomorrow and see two knitbloggers hopped up on fiber fumes, say hi! I’ll be the one completely freezing my arse off.

*formerly known as the Fleece Fair. Freshly renamed to sound like a convention for people with slow colons.

April 12, 2007

Finished: Baby E's Robot

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The Specs:
Pattern: Robot from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy," by Jess Hutchison.
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream worsted cotton in Teal, Pumpkin, and Sunshine and some Bernat Cottontots in Lime Berry.
Needles: size 6 bamboo for the body, size 4 bamboo dpns for the antenna.
Start to finish: April 4 - April 7.
For: Little Nephew E. (and this isn’t the end of it yet…)

Notes:
Rae had mentioned a few times to me that she really liked Spherey, the other toy I’ve knitted from this pamphlet, so as soon as she and Natey announced that they were going to have a baby boy visions of little knitted robots started dancing through my head. Still, I waited until two days before we were going to see the new baby to start it. I guess that fits with the procrastination theme I’ve got going on here lately. I’m nothing if not consistent.

Yarn:
I wasn’t too impressed with the selection of worsted wool I had around the apartment (most of it got used up in the Great Christmas Korknisse Adventure of 2006) so I dipped into the kitchen cotton stash instead. I had lots of bright colors to choose from and the stuff is washable. Can’t beat that right?

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Mods:
The biggest mod to the pattern was to go down two needle sizes. I wanted to knit the cotton fairly tightly since it’s less forgiving than wool and I didn’t want sloppy intarsia. Besides, the finished toy as written is pretty large (9”x10,” not counting the antenna) which is pretty big when you think about how tiny newborns are. We will choose to ignore, for the time being, that newborns have absolutely no interest in knitted robots.

Like with Spherey, I embroidered the eyes for added baby-safety.

New Techniques:
Intarsia? Turns out that it’s not so bad after all. The last time I tried it I failed miserably. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was attempting an octopus. In acrylic.

Final Verdict: Love it! I think Rae still wants a Spherey though.

April 11, 2007

Finished: Yellow Soaker

The Specs:
Pattern: Wool Diaper Cover, pattern pdf here.
Size: I knitted the 10-24 month size, but came in a bit under gauge. So maybe 7-21 months?
Yarn: Aprox. 100g of White Buffalo 3-ply.
Needles: 6mm bamboo.
Start to Finish: March 3ish - March 16ish? Sometime in early March at any rate.
For: Nephew E.

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Notes:

I'm not usually a procrastinator, but I've been putting off posting about this one for a while. Goodness knows I've been finished with it long enough. Let me see if I can remember back far enough to give you some useful info about this one (*think, think, think*).

The Yarn:

Let's see...I wasn't so sure if the White Buffalo unspun was a good choice for the pattern way back when I first posted about this, and I'm still not sure. I never got around to lanolizing or washing it. Being the loving and caring sister that I am, I just handed it off to Rae and was done with it. I didn't even make it a drawstring. The one in the picture is some bias tape I dug out of Rae's craft room. Now you know the truth...sometimes I'm a bit of a slacker.

Mods (aka mistakes):

I was going to say that I didn't make any changes to the pattern, but in reading it over again it looks as if I read the increases and decreases for the legs incorrectly and took twice as many rows as I should have to incorporate them (increasing and decreasing at only the beginning of the rows as opposed to at the beginnings and ends of the rows). Gah! My version does look suspiciously taller than the pattern illustration, doesn’t it? Well, hopefully this won't be a big problem.

One modification that this pattern would benefit from is a round of yarn overs for the drawstring to slip through. I didn't think of this until too late.

Final Verdict: Cute, but points docked for sloppy pattern readage and general laziness. Like the other soaker, verdict pending actual baby wearage.

April 4, 2007

More Babies and Knee Highs

So I’ve been avoiding blogging a bit because I’ve been a bit on the tired and complainy side (see last two posts). But I promise, only nice things today!

Nice thing No. 1: Yarn

YaiAnn did a little shopping for me at Stitches West. I pretty much asked her to stage a mini-raid on Cookie's booth and she thoughtfully obliged. To feed the kneesock fiend in me, I now have my very own German Stocking sock kit:

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Mmm.

I also had her nab me the Twisted Flower sock pattern (no pic, but it’s here if you haven’t seen it yet.) and some of Cookie’s handpainted sock yarn in a green colorway I’d been coveting since I first saw it up her blog. YaiAnn also surprised me with a skein of Lisa Souza merino sock yarn in a gorgeous almost-solid colorway called “pumpkin.” Yum! I’m currently obsessed with the idea of turning it into some snickets.

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we are delicious.


Nice thing No. 2: I have a new nephew! Actually, I’ve had a new nephew since March 25. If you know me in real life I’ve probably already made you look at pictures. But for the rest of you, here he is:

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I am delicious too. (picture by Krickie)

He belongs to my older sister Rae and BIL Natey. I think they did a rather decent job, don’t you? We’ll go up to visit his humongous adorableness and the rest of the family this weekend. I am very excited. Here's the other picture Krick sent (I want his hat).


In other news, the yellow soaker has been done for weeks and the cabley baby sweater is pretty darn near completed. More on those when I get my act together.