Monday, August 27, 2007

Very Knitting Weekend

This weekend was full of knitting events. Saturday I visited my dad about an hour away, adn he gave me a little bit of spending money to splurge on myself with. Usually when given gift money, in the bank it will go to later be used to pay bills or collect interest or something logical and responsible like that. I decided that this time I would instantly spend some of it on yarn for me. I visited Purlescence and Commuknity in Sunnyvale and San Jose respectively. I didn't end up getting anything in the first shop (although they did have a nice lace section....) and ended up doing all my damage in Commuknity. I bought Victorian Lace Today after flipping through it and becoming overwealmingly inspired. I also bought a skein of Claudia Handpainted silk and 2 balls of Harmony lace

On Sunday I had finished knitting the hat and scarf set that a friend sent me for my birthday. It's a Karabella pattern, and it says that it calls for 3 balls of Karabella Supercashmere, and oh my it's not kidding. At the end of every knitting project, I always have scraps left over. At least a little bit, even if I can't make anything with it. With this pattern, however I used every last little bit of yarn that I had, and had exactly enough to get them done. I was holding my breath at the end of the hat, and I wasn't able to make the little nub that sticks up on the top; I was that close on yarn.

It's very comfortable, and even in the heat yesterday I was wearing the hat around the house just because I didn't want to take it off. Being the single project knitter that I am, when I cast off the hat and had it woven in, I began knitting one of the lace patterns in Victorian Lace. I believe this is the first time I have used lace *this* fine. It is a comletely different experience, and I have to get used to the slipperiness of the needles and yarn and be careful not to let the needles fall out! I took a picture just after beginning, and it has since been ripped out in favor of making the "shawl" thinner to become a lacey scarf instead. I am currently knitting with Misti Alpaca Lace.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Placed Cable Pics

You know, I should really have better timing with when I knit sweaters, and also when I decide to attempt to photograph them. For example, yesterday was not the day at 85 degrees to decide (in my air conditioning-free apartment) that it would be the perfect time to take a picture of my Placed Cable sweater.

So here it is! Be gentle, and remember that it has not yet been blocked.

At first I was not to thrilled with the sweater, since I was expecting something a little closer to what was in the magazine; the slightly oversized, big and comfy sweater, but I think this is going to turn into one of my favorite sweaters to put over top a light shirt. The feel of the yarn was a huge plus; the RYC Cashsoft Aran is so SO soft, and feels very nice.
This sweater (as you can tell by my blog posts) was a very quick knit.

PS. This is my first post as a 24 year old. Woo hoo!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

FO: Placed Cable Aran

Woohoo! I have just finished my second sweater! I bound off the sleeves last night and just had a few minutes to stitch them on to the body. The sweater needs to be blocked before I can document it (and harrass Mr Kiwi about using his camera) and posting here.
I never thought that I would be knitting sweaters so quickly so soon after knitting my first one. They're really not too bad!
Now I have to think about my next knitting project. ;o)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Almost 1/4 Century

My birthday is in 6 days. This past weekend, I was surprised by gifts from two friends, both knitting related. One gave me the very pretty Summer Shawlette that she knit from Knitting Daily. It is so soft, and for it's size, so warm and comfy! I *think* it was knit from RYC Silk Wool, so that could explain some of the wonderful qualities, along with the hands it passed through before making its way to me.
Another friend who lives all the way on the other side of the country sent me a box with a lovely hat and scarf pattern as well as the required Karabella yarn to make the set. Just in time to get it finished for fall and winter! Mr Kiwi yelled at me for opening my box early, but I am sure he is the only one who minded. ;o) That hat and scarf is an excellent excuse for me to stop the lengthy projects, take a break, and knit up smaller quicker projects. Excellent thinking, and thank you very much!
I'd post pictures, but Mr Kiwi told me my camera is inferior and to use his for picture taking, however there are so many darned buttons and settings on his brand spanking new camera that I have no idea how to take advantage of getting the good picture quality that it offers. So *hint hint* Mr Kiwi..

It might be me growing out of my kid phase and merging into being an adult, but I think this is the first birthday that I am not looking forward to simply because it means that I will officially be one year older and the digits will change. That's an interesting feeling. Maybe I can skip work and stay in my pj's and knit all that day. ..or maybe not because my experiments need to be assayed that day. Why do we celebrate birthdays anyway? Can't we just pretend that time freezes and you really don't ever get older? Of course, when it comes time for cake, I might change my mind a little.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fun Times...

I have been working pretty hard on the Placed Cable Aran lately (for the past week) and today I got to the point where I was about to bind off the shoulders and begin the neck. Remember: thus far I am 2 for 2 in altering the pattern so that it can be knit in the round as far as possible so that there were no seams. My plan was also not to bind off around the neck where possible, so that I could just pick up the live stitches so that (again) there would be no seams from the body of the seater to the neck. I did however have to bind off 14 stitches on each side for the top of the shoulders, leaving the other 14 stitches to be picked up later for the neck. I did the three needle bind off on one shoulder and it went well. Then I did the same bind off on the other shoulder, which also went well.

..until I realized that I bound off the inside 14 stitches of the front to the outside 14 stitches of the back, instead of the outside stitches. If you can picture it, that would make a pretty... funny looking sweater. So I had to undo the bind off, and redo it correctly. Not too traumatic, but I thought it was a very silly mistake to make.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Placed Cable Aran

I have been making some good progress on my Placed Cable Aran from the Interweave Knits fall 2007 issue. The issue just came out and I received mine shortly before finishing my cabled socks (which of course I don't have a picture of). I was very excited about a number of patterns in the issue, and I realized that I have the perfect yarn substitute for the Fiber Trends Naturally Harmony 10 ply that is called for in the Placed Cable Aran Sweater. I had to play with needle sizes and knit (and frog) quite a few gauge swatches. I finally got gauge by using US10 knitting needles with my RYC Cashsoft Aran yarn that I purchased at the Stitches West in February. Perfect!
This sweater, as with the Gatsby Girl Pullover, I have edited in order to knit it in the round for not wanting to have seams on the sides. I am also planning on not binding off the neck of the body only to pick up the stitches again, so instead I will place the stitches on holders and pick them all up together. I never thought knitting sweaters could be so easy! This is only my second top, and thus far I am 2 for 2 in not following the pattern exactly and somehow modifying it to my own desires.
This sweater is going pretty quickly (especially compared to the 2x2 ribbing in the last one!) and I am already working on shaping the sleeves on the back. I started this on Wednesday, and I think before too long I'll be trying it on.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm Knitting, I Swear!

I know it looks like not a lot of knitting has been happening around here, but there really has.. I just haven't had time to take pictures of anything yet. Just tonight I cast off a pair of cable socks I made. This was my first pair of socks made with Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. This is also the first time I have had to use almost all the yarn from both skeins. Usually, I am able to get a pair of ankle socks from one 50g ball, but it this case I really needed to use almost all of the 50g ball for each sock. This is one reason I love knitting both at once, toe up. I can tell instantly when I am going to run out of yarn, how much I need to use, and how far I can get. These ended up being "tall" socks compared to what I usually do. I'm pretty pleased so far! Of course, I haven't yet had a chance to wear them more than tying them on.
I also cast on for Placed Cable Aran tonight. I had to play around with gauge and needle size a bit on a swatch before starting since I was not using the yarn that is specified in the pattern, and I had to make up for it being slightly different is size and weight. I'm happy though! This looks liek it will be a very fun sweater, although right now I have miles and mile of stockinette stitch to knit up! Oh well, I have some nice mindless knitting to go on after having to pay so much attention to the socks and sweater before this one :o)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

SF Bay Ravelers

Today a group of knitters that met in the SF Bay Area knitting group on got together and met up at a yarn shop in San Francisco. Being in the East Bay, I had to take BART over and managed to get lost for about 10 minutes after setting foot out of the station before figuring out which direction was the correct direction. Our first stop was Urban Knitting Studio, and due to my lack of directional skills I showed up just as the woman in the shop was giving the tour of how the shop was organized. It was my first time being in Urban Knitting, and it was a pretty big place! I think the size fo the studio dwarfed their yarn and made it look like they had less than they really had. They actually had a fair amount of just about everything and it was nicely organized. Just before taking off, we all stood outside and took group photos. Of course I managed to forget my camera at home, but luckily most of the others had remembered theirs and made up for my lack of planning (or at least remembering).
Next we made our way to Art Fibers, where we arrived minutes before their shop opened, so we went accross the street to grab some lunch. Once we finished lunch, our small group met another two ravelers back at Art Fibers. This place was pretty cool! I had never heard of it before, but apparently they only sell their own yarns. I kept sticking my hans out to touch all the swatches that were hanging around next to their cones of yarns. I couldn't believe how cool it was! I kept flip flopping over which yarn I wanted to get. I ended up getting Bitty Bunz 70% angora, 20% extra fine merino, and 10% nylon. Once I decided on this particular yarn, I had to decide on which color to get! Lavendar ended up winning out over the Seafoam green, but they were both so pretty!
Here I also had my first group-swoon over the iPhone. One of the knitters wanted to look up some information on a pattern she wanted to knit, but didn't want to call her husband for the unpteenth time, so I enabled her habit by pulling out my phone. It took a little longer than it should have to look up the information since the moment I pulled it out all of the others bounced up out of the chairs we were all sitting in and ran over to check it out and take pictures. I was amused and it added to the fun of the day.
Next, we had planned on going to Imagiknit, but we were ending up leaving a littel too late and didn't want to be the huge group of knitters to show up 10 minutes before closing. Le sighe... we'll just have to come back another time. Instead, we headed to Noe Knit which was where we planned on hitting up after ImagiKnit, and is also conveniently just down the street. I had already been to Noe Knit, but this was only the second time. I decided against getting too involved and falling in love with yarn that I would just have to take home since I had already spent plenty at the previous shop. It seems as though everyone else had a blast in there though. The owner of the shop was there and was more than happy to have us ravelers crusing about.
I ended up having to leave at about 4:30 (can you believe all of this was crammed into such a short amount of time?!) and it prompted a few others to take off as well. Some of us made our way to the Bart station and took our separate trains back to our respective areas.
Once I got back to my station, Mr Kiwi picked me up and we instantly went to Montero's for the school's monthly dance show. A bunch of students from all over the country were in town and danced since this is the beginning of one of the week long workshops. There were two from out of town who were really incredible, and I greatly enjoyed watching. They did a more tribal and goth interpretation instead of some of the cabaret that most of the dancers at home do. I also watched one of my friends perform a complicated sword dance that she has become very good at, as well as a separate zills performance which she put together in 2 weeks.
Today was certainly a very full day of knitting and dance, and it was an excellent way to finish off the weekend. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some of those pictures from the other knitters. And we are definitely going to have to be doing this again.