Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Yarny Christmas

So I actually got yarn and fiber stuff for Christmas!

I got a ball winder!

No pictures yet, but I'm loving it.  I already balled up several things for new projects, (I like that the cakes of yarn compact better for storage, and I've read that the yarn stores better in a cake and doesn't get stretched out) as well as balling up yarn for current projects.

. . . just don't get over-enthusiastic and try to ball up something that's still attached to your knitting.  I spent most of the morning trying to untangle -that- mistake!

I haven't tried it with the swift yet, but I'm looking forward to when I do.  Also, tucked away in the same gift bag were 3 pretty beaded stitch markers.  I'd never used the ring-style stitch markers before, but they're quite nice to use.

Also, I gave in and ordered another skein of Dream In Colour Smooshy with Cashmere from EatSleepKnit for the Mariah Cardigan, with the last of my Store Credit.  I just really don't think I'll have enough yarn to finish the hood, otherwise.  And considering I won't need much, the rest of it will be a  pair of Knotty or Nice Socks (non Ravelry link here).

Finally, I got in on Tanis Fiber Arts Boxing Day update at her Etsy store.

I got three skeins of the 75/25 Merino Silk Blend in the 'Tropics" Colourway, that is going to become a  Beginner's Triangle from "A Gathering of Lace".  I wanted something that would show off the colour changes.

And that was my yarny Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, all!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Illness and a knitting reprive.

Ugh.  So I feel horrible today.  I know why, it's just health stuff, it will go away on its own in a day or two, hopefully in time for New Years.

But that means that the party I was supposed to be going to tomorrow isn't happening.

I was originally trying to finish the Sit and Knit Mitts for it, but that wasn't happening either.

So, after a lot of shuffling around of ungifted knitted stuff, trying to find things homes where I know they would be appreciated and worn, the Marian Cowl will go to a friend, (my step-sister couldn't make Christmas Day and I don't have her mailing address)  and the Sit and Knit mittens will become next year's Birthday Gift for the same friend. 

This makes things a lot less rushed, which is wonderful.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Dragon Rider Gloves are done!

Well, that's pretty much what it sounds like! I finished them off on the transit while coming back from my parent's place for Christmas.

My apologies for the less-then-awesome picture, but I'm stuck with the tablet camera for the moment.

The photo's not quite true-to-colour, but I'm still quite happy with how they turned out, even if the pattern does need some erratta written up.   Maybe I'll do that for Ravelry.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

. . . and Knitting on Christmas Day!

I think a lot of knitters have been guilty of frantically knitting on Christmas Day.

This year, it's the Dragon Rider Gloves that didn't quite make it done in time.

 I think that's for two reasons.

One: is because I couldn't knit them at home when my roommate was home.

And Two: is because I considered them a 'fast knit' I neglected them in favour of other, more complicated or fiddly projects. 

That being said, though, I expect to have them finished by the end of Christmas Day -- I have a bus ride to my parent's place, and I'm at the point now where I can knit these on the transit without having to refer to the book constantly.   I can also knit -at- my parent's place too, if I need to.  I'll also take the Sit and Knit Lace Mitts, too, since they need to be done for the 30th of December.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Knitting on Christmas Eve. . .

Yep, it's Christmas Eve, and I'm still knitting.

However, I did finish the Marian Cowl (it knits up superbly fast!)

Unfortunately I have not yet finished the Dragon Rider Gloves.  I've got about a glove-and-a-half to go, still.  But these are my only project for the day, and hopefully I can finish them before my roommate gets home!  She's getting home early, though, because it's Christmas Eve.  Here's hoping.  In fact, one of the reasons they've taken longer is simply because I can't work on them when she's home!

Also, I started a new project, a pair of Lace Mittens in old worsted-weight acrylic.  They're for a Secret Santa on the 30th. The pattern is called 'Sit N' Knit Mitts', and it's available on Ravelry as a payed download (I was lucky enough to get it for free with a coupon a while ago!)  No picture yet, but they're coming along.

That's the end of the Christmas Knitting for now; here's hoping everyone has a great Christmas; and is staying safe with all the ice still out there.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Help With Mattress Stitch

I've yet to memorize Mattress Stitch.

Like grafting (kitchener stitch), it's just something that hasn't yet become automatic.

However, since I have to seam my Marian Cowl (the pattern is written in-the-round, but I don't have any 12.75 mm circulars, just straights), I wanted something that would be close to invisible but not too heavy.

So, hence my searching for a tutorial on Mattress Stitch.

And, once again, Knitty came to my rescue.   They have a wonderful tutorial on Mattress Stitch that I currently have open while I seam. 

. . . I love the internet.  Just having this information at my fingertips with a simple web search is -amazing!-

However, I should return to seaming.  I'll try and get pictures of the finished cowl once I get daylight tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Surprises for Christmas

I just found out my Step-Sister will be around for Christmas.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  She and I aren't close, but we get along reasonably well.  I didn't expect her, since she'd just moved down to the States for a new job.  But apparently, things are going well enough for her that she can fly back on Christmas Eve.

Ok, awesome. . . but everyone else in my immediate family has knitted christmas gifts.  And I don't necessarily mind knitting for her.

Well, the Purple Purl's Sale worked out in my favour this year -- I got a skein of Sweet Georgia Superwash Chunky, and a set of monstrous 12.75 mm needles (I usually use 4mm or smaller!).

I've already balled it up, and unfortunately the light isn't the best, but here:

 It's actually far more of a tan colour, the light makes it look more blue.

(I got other stuff at the sale, too, but I don't have good pictures since I'm currently taking pictures with my tablet. )

I also found a (free) 1-skein cowl pattern, which is the Marian Cowl.  It actually calls for super-bulky, but I thought that might be too stiff, and besides which, I was working with what I could a) easily get my hands on and b) was superwash. 

Also, it's supposed to be worked in the round, but the only bigger needles I could find were straight needles, but I've decided I can just seam it afterwards. Yes, I hate seaming, but I can put up with it in this case.

So, my step-sister is getting a cowl, a cowl that is actually kniting up really, really fast.  I'm already 1.5 inches along with just some work on it tonight.

 Man, for instant gratification, bulky yarn and big needles can't be beat!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Last-Minute Birthday Knitting

So. . . despite my best efforts at planning out this holiday and birthday knitting, I still ended up knitting my Grandmother's Birthday Scarf on the morning of her birthday party.

 I've really got to get better about that, I did the same thing with my father's socks!

But, I liked the pattern of this scarf, even if it is a little thin for my tastes.  But because it's so thin, it does knit up quite quickly.

My picture, however, is not so awesome.  It was taken on the floor, while I was trying to pack and get out the door.  It was the only picture I could get before it was gifted.  It makes it look rather deformed, which it's not,  and yes, I'm not quite sure why that one end stretched out more.  It annoys me, but you can't tell on the finished scarf when it's hanging around your neck.

Regardless, though, the scarf's been gifted to a good (and loving) home.  It really brought a smile to her face, and she was so proud that my knitting's advanced.  I think she still remembers the kid who was learning to knit and purl, which was really sweet. :D

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Short Socks

I thought I'd posted this before, but it looks like Blogger ate my post.

So, I also finished the first of the Flying Hearts Socks for a test knit.  It came right down to the night of the 15th.  That's what I get for trying to take on too many things at once, I guess.

Anyway, given both a possible shortage of yarn, and a tightly looming deadline, I made these quite short at the ankle.

I usually wouldn't make them this short, but this way I can wear them with my running shoes in the summer (they're lacy enough I wouldn't want to wear them in the winter).

Also, I found that while people suggest the elastic bind-off for toe-up socks, as you can see from the photo, it's actually a touch too big and didn't contract enough.  They do still stay up ok, which is the important part, though.   I think I'll stick with the cable bind-off for my toe-up socks from now on, unless it really looks like they're going to be tight. 

Nice Warm Mittens

So I finished my Fair-Isle Mittens.  I -almost- had them done by the KAL deadline of the 15th, but weekends around the holidays are very, very busy.

All I had left to do was the thumb and weaving in the ends, but it just didn't get done.

Oh well, they're done now, and its a good thing, too.  My previous flannel mittens weren't keeping out the cold.  These are stranded, so all the yarn floats on the inside add to the warmth and layering of the mitten.

There's still a cowl and hat to come in this set, but I don't need those nearly as much.

Oh, yeah, and they're apparently kitty-approved, since I caught one of the cats dragging them off of the towel where I'd left them to dry after blocking!  Kitty number two really does love Briggs and Little, it seems!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Black Friday Sale Haul

I want to preface this:  I don't usually get involved in the Black Friday craziness, unless something just happens to be on sale that I actually need.  And even then, unless I'm desperate, it's not worth the craziness of even attempt to try the malls and shopping centres that weekend.

Online is a little different, but even then, my -only- Black Friday purchase was this stuff from EatSleepKnit.   I try to buy most of my yarn on sale in some form -- it helps me get really nice yarn for less then it would otherwise cost, and yarn (properly stored) doesn't go bad.

So, my package came in the mail today.   My apologies for the pictures, but it's dim and grey enough here I actually need the flash, so the colours aren't quite right.

I got 1 skein of Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted, in "Violet Hill"

This will become A River Runs Through Mitt, for a friend`s Birthday next year

I got 9 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton, in "Indigo". 

This is for a Big Honkin' Bag, for me.  I've had my eye on this for quite some time.  My current purse is beginning to fall apart, and also isn't big enough to hold my water bottle.  So I was very glad to get the yarn on sale. :)

That was all I ordered, but that wasn't all I got.  EatSleepKnit does their wonderful Yarnathon, and this purchase got me to their 20 mile surprise mark.

What was the 20 mile surprise?  Well. . .

This was one of the additional things in my box.

It's a full skein of Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca DK, in "Fjord"!

This is why I really like ESK. They're one of the few buisnesses I know that will give away entire skeins of yarn like this!  There was other awesome stuff in the box too, like a needle case, and their usual Yarn Lotto ticket (didn't win anything this time, but that's ok.).

So now I have more new yarn.  This has decided that it will be a Penobscot Scarf.  It just seemed to suit the pattern really well.

So yeah, I just got a bunch of new yarn. :)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

One Christmas knit left, and updates on the Sock-Along.

I finished the Pine Cone Mittens yesterday night, and got a picture this morning in the sun.

I am glad to have yet one more thing done.  The pile of WIP's is starting to come back down to a manageable level, which is nice.

Currently, I'm frantically knitting on my test-knit socks to make the December 15th deadline, but I should have most of today and tomorrow to try and finish them.

Unfortunately, I've kind of given up on the Sock-Along.  If I do manage to finish, great, but I'm honestly not expecting to at this point, sadly.  I've been neglecting my socks, and I don't think I can knit two more socks by the 15th.   It was good incentive for me to make those hand-knit pairs of socks I wanted, though!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Pre-Boxing Day Sale

Like a good number of my previous posts, this is also, pretty much what the title says.

The Purple Purl is holding their Pre-Boxing Day Sale on Sunday the 22nd.

All the details are in their Newsletter Post. But basically, everything's 20% off (with a few exceptions), and you can still earn loyalty points, you just can't redeam them during the sale.

I intend to go, money and time allowing.  I have a shopping list of yarns I can get at the Purple Purl, and so I might as well get them on sale.

Sadly, my purchases at the upcoming Purple Purl sale probably not be as much as I got at their Summer Sale, simply because there's less on my shopping list, and I'm trying to compact what stash I do have (it's creeping out of its cupboard and I'm not happy with that).  I am, however, thinking of picking up a couple of skeins of the Juniper Moon Findley laceweight (because laceweight takes up a lot less space, and I have several projects I'd like to do in it!)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

More things off the needles

I'm glad to be clearing out WIPs. It gives me more time to work on my upcoming deadlines.

So, here's my Evening Star Cowl finished up and off of my new blocking mats.

I'm not completely happy with the picture, but there was no way to get a decent one with the sun glare the way it was (and my hair, as usual, looks terrible!)

I wore it to church this morning -- it's nice as a light hood to supplement a hat on cold days or to 'line' the hood of my coat. It's not super-warm, but I wasn't expecting it to be.

 It also keeps the cold from coming down the front of my sweater and coat.   I quite like it!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Chocolate and Yarn

I love the 'Selfish Knitters and Crocheters' Group on Ravelry. They're a constant reminder that my first reason to knit should be because I enjoy it. 

So, their Holiday Swap is a genius idea -- it's a swap to yourself.  It's giving tacit permission to splurge on yourself in a season where stuff usually revolves around the expectations of others. 

Anyway, I just got the results of my swap.

They had three things.

The first was a 'Yarny Treat'.

Well, I think two skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts Red Label in "Dove" definitely qualifies.  This stuff is -so- soft and squish-able!  I'm not usually the type to pull out skeins of yarn to fondle, but this one is definitely tempting me!

It's lighter then this picture shows.  I love it.  It's going to become a 'Summer Queen Shawl', which is another pattern from the 'Knits for Nerds' book -- the same book my Dragon Rider Gloves came from.

I got it during Tanis' visit to the Purple Purl.  It was an awesome night, and we had a chance to win yarn for each Tanis Fiber Arts purchase.  Alas, I didn't win anything, but that's ok. This is awesome enough.

The second thing is a 'Yummy Treat.'

Well, I think a can of fair-trade and organic hot chocolate mix fills that role quite nicely!

And the third is a holiday treat.  My first idea wasn't available yet, so I went ahead and finally bought some kids play mats to use as blocking mats.

I don't care that they're colourful, I only want them as a surface that holds t-pins.

So that was my swap to myself. The really nice thing is that the yarn had a chance to win, the chocolate was on sale, and the blocking mats were free with a gift certificate to the hardware store! 


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Wrap-Up and Pretty Yarn

I just went back and checked my Christmas List, and actually, most of my gift knitting is done, or getting close to done.

Last night, while at the Knit Cafe's Knit Night, I finished up the Mini Dalek Coffee Cozy.  Let it dry overnight after blocking, and volia!

 Ugh, and yes, the pictures are sideways.  I thought I'd fixed that, but I guess not.

Also while at the Knit Cafe, I discovered that they sell some of the Fleece Artist yarns.  I don't know how I missed this, they've apparently had them all summer!  I was seriously debating waiting until the boxing day sales to get this, (given that I already got yarn at EatSleepKnit's Black Friday sale) but it just kept calling me.

Anyway, given my roommate's love of deep forest and regal greens, I came home with a skein of Fleece Artist BFL Sock, in what I think is "Spruce."  (Fleece Artist doesn't label their colourways, so that's my best guess).   The photo doesn't do the deepness of the greens justice, I think.

When I showed her the skein, she loved it, and requested a hat in it.  I was kind of hoping to make socks, but she declared that "it's too pretty for socks!"  So it's going to become a Small-Gauge "Knotty but Nice" hat.   It may be next year's birthday or Christmas present. I'm not sure yet.