It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Going for Gold

When I was a little girl I had one dream: to win a gold medal for Canada. Now, my preferred way to do this was through figure skating, except that I lacked grace, skills, poise and the ability to be coordinated for longer than 2 minutes. With my Olympic dreams dashed and the truth painfully obvious that athletic and myself do not belong in the same sentence, I conceded my dream to win any medals for Canada at the Olympics.

Except my friends the winds have change have blown in my favor, and my Olympic dream is now being realized! I have answered the call from my country, and I will proudly be representing her in the “Ravelympics” in the “Sock Put” event.

(I am terribly proud of myself for creating this graphic with my crappy Photoshop skills!)

For those not in the know- I’ve been challenged to a somewhat daunting task. Knit a project, starting from the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics and see it to conclusion before the end of the closing ceremonies, 17 days later. I signed up for team Canada and chose from the numerous events my task, the “Sock Put”.

With the new yarn nestled in my stash, and the Marilinda socks reminding me that I have a goal to knit something from each retreat designer, choosing my task was simple. Long time readers of the blog may be wondering where the challenge is here, given that I’ve knit a pair of socks in less time and so, for interest’s sake, I shall spell it out here. Time to knit these socks is going to be few and far between, aside from being the most complicated pattern I’ve knit to date I will be away and busy during the Olypmic time, and knitting time will be sparse.

Can I do it? Will I proudly display my medal for all to see? Will Adonis Dionysis Bobicus Maximus

(who bears a striking resemblance to Ravelry mascot “Bob”) present me my gold? Only time will tell.

Behold... my accessory of choice, the newly acquired "Dream in Color Smooshy" in Midnight Derby. They shall be gold winning socks!

Stay tuned to the blog for your Ravelympic updates!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm On a Roll!!

Um? Holy crap... I finished another pair of socks!

Sock #3 for the Summer of Socks completed and off the needles. These were supposed to be my break from the mind bending "Marilinda socks" that are on hold until my Loopy order arrives. (The less said about how long the Canadian customs folks take to clear my yarn, the better....) I'm going to need another brain breather when those eventually get on the needles! (Good thing I have three more skeins of self striping yarn!)

Pattern: Yarn Harlot's Basic Sock Pattern
Needles: US 1
Yarn: Online Supersocke Cotton Beach Color 83
Thoughts: There is something inherently satisfying seeing the stripes "magically" appear while you knit them. Self striping sock yarns are fabu simply because they make your project look 20 times harder than it actually is! I'm not loving the yarn so much, very splitty, but it's kind of an ends to a mean thing- sometimes you suffer through less than stellar yarn for it's results. Let's look at them again shall we? Oooooo....

I'm especially proud of the way I was careful to line up the stripes on the sock. Special attention needs to be paid when you knitting if you like matching socks, something I'm rather anal retentive about. Check out how closely the stripes line up on the socks: (the picture below best illustrates the line matching..)

Yeah. I'm good.

I've also been fiddling around with a few mindless project ideas for my Breast Cancer run team this October. I'd like to make something for the people who choose to run, or walk in my case, on my Run for a Cure team- and I'm experimenting with a few ideas. Idea number one... please forgive me, this is the first time I've ever attempted duplicate stitch, so this is a project that can be improved upon.

It took me about an hour and half to knit this little coffee sleeve. I could probably grind these out pretty quickly at the last minute, (when I tend to save things to), but am I going to feel satisfied giving these to everyone? Or, can I do more? (Says the girl who is woefully behind the baby hats she needs to have knitted to be on track for 52... not to mention the socks she plans to knit for the knitting retreat.)

Otherwise I managed to survive two major knitting events this week:

1) The Make 1 Sale, which I decided not to attend, no matter how badly I wanted to go. I've decided that I'm weak to a good deal on yarn, and don't always buy what I necessarily need. In my effort to respect the stash management, I opted to not go, and instead reward myself with a Loopy order if I continue to wittle away at the stash this summer. Oh please knit gods let my "Rainbow Black" yarn still be there when I allow myself to "fall off the wagon" again.

2) I surived the great Ravelry server crash of July 08, furthmore known here as SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY. This may not be a big deal to you, but my favorite yarn, pattern and overall knitting database wasn't working properly and I was practically frantic about it coming back so I could download a pattern. Ravelry has changed the life of most knitters, and I'm a full blown addict. So many knitters are relying on Ravelry to store their new patterns that they aren't posting their patterns to their blogs anymore, only to Ravelry for a free dowload. Imagine my horror when I finished a sock and couldn't download the next pattern I was going to knit. I was frantic, I was pacing, I was updating the husband every 20 minutes on the status as if he cared, (*gasp* I don't think he did... what kind of heartless person did I marry?!) and ultimately was forced to go and knit something I had kind of abandoned on the needles. (Hello pink sweater...)

While the crash had my fingers itching to get back on to the site to see if I missed anything, it was good to get re-focused on the sweater... enough so that I'm actually interested in knitting it again. So there you go- despite the SEVERE withdrawl symptoms I had from the website it actually forced me to go back and work on something and regain interest in it. So, at least some good came out of the devasting 10 hours Ravelry wasn't working properly. (Seriously though folks- don't let that happen again, I was breathing into a paper bag and overall trying to not hypervenilate over the whole thing. An addict of this degree should never be forced to quit for that long at a time!)

So- as you can tell, it's been a busy week over here... and I need to get back to my knitting.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Couldn't Resist...

I bought yarn.... and I don't even feel bad about it! This is Linea Baby, Baby Star yarn. It's 100% Merino and a lovely sport weight.

It is evident that I cannot resist a "good deal" on yarn. Some good deals are so good you simply cannot pass them up! That's what happened here. While on a routine "walk by", I walked into Pudding Yarns and stumbled on their Stampede sale. A quick peak into the 75% off bin and I discovered this perfectly cute merino yarn and the store practically paid me to buy it. This entire collection of stash cost me $9. An AMAZING deal given that regularly priced this stuff was $8.95 a ball! I practically stole it at that price! I bought enough to make a baby sweater I have in mind. That price is so good I'm tempted to go back and buy the remaining 3 skeins of it and make ME something. But, well, I don't want to be ridiculous!

This brings me to my next dilema, the big ole Make 1 Summer sale that coming up next Saturday. If you recall, at Christmas the MiL and I went on a yarn binge, if you will, at their sale and well, I know the prices are good enough to make me consider a good old binge session again. It seems I'm pretty good at yarn binging, but the purging takes a little longer. (It DOES happen though... just at a slightly slower rate...)

And this is just proof that I DO eventually purge the yarn. The Plain Jane socks are moving slower than expected, but I suspect that all the Stampeding we've been doing has been effecting the progress. This is yarn that I bought at the Make 1 Christmas sale, so there you go- I DO eventually get to it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

More Socks for Summer

You know, it feels a little weird knitting warm woolen socks in the summer- but I can't help it! They're such an addicting project!! In record time, Sock #2 of the summer of socks are off the needles and completely done. (From June 27 - July 4!)

Pattern: Spring Forward by Linda Welch
Yarn: Koigu KPPM (*slobber*)
Needles: US size 1
Thoughts: Quick and addicting little knit. I would definately knit this pattern again. I love how all the wiggles look like waves on the socks!

With those off the needles I decided to move on to a major challenge, sock #2 in my quest to knit a pattern by all the designers at the retreat, Cookie A's Marilinda socks. Holy! Intimidating! Batman! I bought the pattern, pulled the yarn out of the stash and cast them on and got ready to go.

Once I got into the pattern though- it was obvious that I was going to hit a snag in my plans. The yarn pools. (I doubt you can see it well enough in the picture above.) The varigation in the yarn doesn't spread evenly and instead I somehow managed to have a "dark" side and a "light" side. This pattern is complicated and impressive enough that I don't want it to be lost in bad pooling in the color of the yarn. After much discussion with the husband, he gave me the go ahead to break the yarn diet and order up something that will be similar and serve the right purpose for the pattern. I remembered seeing a yarn on the much loved Loopy Ewe that mentioned that it was subtly varigated to avoid the color pooling that sometimes occurs with hand painted yarn. And so, in what can only be referred to as enormous restraint, (afterall I only ordered what I needed and not what I wanted {because let's face it what I wanted was about 12 other skeins also} ), I put my order for Dream in Color Smooshy's Midnight Derby.** (PS- if you ever feel so inclined to, I've attached a link to my Loopy Ewe wishlist on the sidebar there so you can see what I've been lusting so heavily after.)

Before the yarn pooling incident occured, a few rows into knitting Cookie's pattern my brain started to hurt. This woman designs the most stunning socks- but they're also not for the faint hearted knitter. (Although her patterns are incredibly thorough, organized and well written.) The chart is complicated and I was using techniques that I never had before. So, to have a little break from all that focused knitting I cast on the simplest, plainest of socks-

Ah brain break socks! They're even self striping yarn! I imagine there will be pictures of these up shortly too. Feels good to be stash busting!

** I kind of love Sheri over at the Loopy Ewe- she runs such a great company. I'd say about 28 minutes elapsed between the time of my order and the email I got to say it was shipped! That's the kind of "wow" service you rarely get these days!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kicking Off the Summer of Socks

Yes! That is the long awaited Whisper Lace socks, off the needles and on the feet!

Pattern: Whisper Lace Socks

Needles Size: US 1

Yarn: Koigu KPPM (*slobber*)

Thoughts: Such a pretty, girly pattern. The minute my mom saw them, she squealed-which means she'll probably be the proud new owner. My one regret with these socks is that it was the wrong pattern for the yarn, and the prettiness of the pattern is lost in the variagation. (Click the Whisper Lace link to see the pattern without all the colors.) That's not to say anything negative about the koigu (blasphemy!), but the pattern is really cool to knit see. I'll probably knit these again some time, in a plain colorway.

As if finally having these socks off the needles isn't enough to celebrate over here, I cast on the newly popular Spring Forward socks for my road trip to Regina.

Before I left for my trip they looked like this:

Upon returning home they looked more like this. I knit these up fast!!

That's ONE completed sock and another leg finished! Talk about a quick knit! This pattern is great, although the cuff is a little tight and next time I'd probably knit it on slightly bigger needles. (Do they even make 1.5?) Much better pictures will show up on the blog upon the completion of sock #2.

Next in the shoot I need to figure out what sock I'm going to put on the needles next. I need to get another retreat designer finished up so I'm on schedule to making a sock by each designer on the retreat in November. It feels good to be shifting my focus back to projects I'm interested in instead of projects that make me less than excited. Looking forward to knitting up the sock yarn stash this summer!