It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, January 26, 2009

God I'm Good!

YUP! It's finished! That was quick! Do you thinkyour standard ten year old girl will like? I think it looks pretty cute!

Pattern: Robin's Egg Blue Hat by Rachel Iufer

Needles: US 9 & 10

Yarn: Nashua "Snowbird" in 'Spring Leaf' and 'Hot Pink'

Notes: SUCH a cute pattern. If I were to make it for me, I'd make it a little bit bigger- but definately a great one to work up in a short time span!

Pattern: Malibrigo Waffles Scarf by Sarah Florent

Needles: US 10

Yarn: Nashua "Snowbird" in 'Hot Pink' and 'Spring Leaf' (So soft!!)

Notes: Another great and easy knit. I really like the little pattern the scarf makes- it's just enough to make any great yarn pop!

This was a great little distraction project. Each piece had that one little element that kept it interesting and I would knit both again! I gave it to the gentleman in my office this am and he seemed sufficiently pleased with it. Sadly I didn't have enough yarn to make cute little mittens, but I'm so into my next project now, I'm glad I don't have to wait to knit it anymore!!

As for the sticky payment procedure, I decided to leave it in his hands. I gave him the receipt for the yarn- and said he had to pay for the matierals, but on top of that he could just decide what he'd like to do. I know that in a way that under values my work, and in the long run if I do more commission knitting I will definately charge more- but I was really at a loss to what he's expecting. I think he's planning to buy me a bottle of wine- which makes me happy- so in general I'm satisfied with the experience.

Anyways- with all my "obligation knitting" off the needles- I'm on to bigger and better things-- namely the knee socks out of the Wollmeise. They are going to be GORGEOUS people! I am so into this project it's all I want to knit- so instead of filling this blog with more chatter... I'm going to get back to my pretty, pretty, socks. (PS the Wollmeise is a DREAM to knit with- I don't care if you have to beg, borrow or steal- GET YOUR HANDS ON IT!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Commissioned Knitting

Well y'all, I lied about buying more yarn. Yesterday I bought more yarn.

BUT- I had a good reason.

Yesterday someone in the office asked me to knit a hat and scarf (and mitts if there's time) for their neice, for which they'll pay me for. I cautiously agreed- but since the deadline was rather quick, (ASAP), I had to buy yarn LAST. NIGHT. to get started.

Who am I to turn down a trip to Pudding Yarn?

This is Nashua handknits in "Snowbird" in hot pink and spring leaf. It's a wool/alpaca blend, chunky (=quick!) and soft.

I'd didn't have a lot of time to plan my knitting, or a lot of details. The person requesting the hand knits provided me with very little info- a little girl who's ten. When pressed with 9 zillion other questions, (what's her favorite color, what color is her jacket, what does she like... etc) he didn't know. All he could tell me is that she's 10.

Um. Thanks?

So, with that information- and quick day polling on Ravelry about what 10 year old girls like, I figured out the patterns I wanted to knit and I decided to go from there.

That hat will be Robin's Egg Blue - with a green brim and pink top. I cast this project on last night and zipped right through it!

And today- I cast it off and sewed in the ends! (YAY! Fast!) All the hat needs is a funky button- which might end up turning out to be the most difficult part of the project! (Where does one procure funky buttons in Calgary?)

Tonight I cast on the Malibrigo Waffles Scarf with bit of green on the bottoms and pink in the long middle. (Sorry no pics yet!) If I can eek that out and save a little left over yarn, I'd really love to knit the Chatty Bulky Mitts also to match. (I can see the requester questioning the purpose of fingerless mittens- but all I can say is from what I've seen, little girls love 'em.)

I'm fairly positive that I can eek out most, if not all this project over the weekend. It's been fun to play with yarn, (which is really nice to knit with by the way), and experiment with quick and easy projects.

I'm also fairly apprehensive. I'm working off very little information. I have never met this little girl- I know nothing about her. What if she hates pink? (Thanks to the sister by the way who helped me pick out the yarn and colors. I know being in a yarn shop is her idea of purgatory- but she was actually very helpful with color observations.) What if HE hates the whole thing? The hat, which is already finished, has a weird uneven decrease. (Although it's still cute) What if it's too big? What if it's too small?

And bigger questions abound... What do I charge? I know I will fully charge for the wool- but I'm worried the $37 price tag I give him, (I kept the receipt as proof), is going to be considered high. (For four skeins it's actually not by the way... it's very reasonable.) While I know that in hand knitting you will never be fully reimbursed for the time you invest in projects, it feels a touch wasteful to charge only for the wool and nothing for the 4 days of continuous knitting I've committed myself to. **I'd like to note this is me filled with self doubt- not self pity, I would not have committed had I not wanted to. I wanted to do this project. It was flattering to be asked.** I just am struggling right now with what to charge for the whole thing.

Complicating things further- my Loopy Ewe package arrived today and I'm essentially vibrating with desperation to a) share it with you and b) KNIT MITTENS WITH THE YARN!

And so I must head off to knit the project up some more-- stay tuned for hopefully finished photos on Monday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Freedom To Knit!

Last we left off here- I wanted to start as many things as I could cram into my Ravelry queue. BUT- I didn't. I remained firm. I remained strong. (I may have remained bored...) I finished the red Mystery Blanket! (With the help of licorice and podcasts!)

Behold! A gift for our friends- the red blanket of mystey reveals itself to be the Chinese symbol for FAMILY.

MAJOR kudos go to the husband, who didn't give up, (even though I'm certain he had thought it more than once), and helped me figure out the right gauge graph to overlay on the pattern. I could not have had such overwhelming success without him. The photoshop-fu is strong in that one!

Pattern: Family Blanket- my own design
Needles: US 6 (on my Denise set)
Yarn: (Yarn snobs please look away) Bernat Satin Sport in Rouge (4 balls)
Notes: I knit this in 14 days. I did a garter stitch border, with row upon (boring!) row of stocking stitch. Knitting the symbol was complex and involved much consulting of the pattern- but I was smart and wrote it down so I could technically do it again- or tell you how I did it someday.

I'm quite pleased with this product- it's simple and yet impressive. My only complaint/regret is that I didn't knit this in wool. My reasoning behind knitting wih acrylic for babies is simple- they poop.... and vomit.... and drool and all of this results in needing to wash their stuff 100 times a day. I cannot, in good conscience, give a wool blanket to a new parent and hand them a detailed list of washing instructions. Not when I know they wouldn't EVER have the time to hand wash it. And so- acrylic away. (Although knitter babies might be different...) In this case, if this gift was for a knitter, (which it is not), I would have preferred the wool, because it would have blocked out perfectly. I have beefs with this blanket. It folds in on the sides, it curls a little and ends don't always lie flat. This all could have corrected itself in the blocking-- except that you can't block acrylic. And so I must buck up, tell myself it isn't that bad, (while the perfectionist in me can't look at it without twitching), and move forward.

With the blanket off the needles I celebrated the way any knitter would- with a novelty project.

Yup. The Noro scarf of "everyone-is-doing-it-and-so-must-I-because-I-am-nothing-in-the-face-of-knitterly-peer-pressure". Everyone is making these! (Some of us are making several of these!) I'm not even sure who this is going to be for! (anyone?) But I had to follow like the lemming I am, and make the scarf.

I must admit- I get the addiction, seeing what colors will blend together next is so exciting. All it is, is two different dyelots of Noro Silk Garden self striping yarn, and every two rows you alternate it. It's knit in simple rib- and yet it is ridiculously fun to see the colors change and mix together. I love this scarf more than I should. (Although not the yarn-- while it provides the colors, the jury is out on the yarn-- I'm more of a smooth, merino girl myself, but we'll see how this washes and save the judgement for later.) I'm halfway into this project- and it was the perfect way to knit some stash yarn AND scratch a distraction off the list. (I can now say I knit the Noro scarf...)

In other news- I celebrated a birthday 2 weeks ago. I celebrated like any good knitter does- with hand knits and yarn!

Would you believe this is my first hand knit gift from someone else (as an adult)? The MiL knit these up for me, knowing that I'm often FREEZING in my office. I love them- and have had several people drop not-so-subtle hints that they want a pair too! Thanks again Phyllis- they're great!

And yes- I said Yarn- who doesn't love a little birthday yarn? Yarn on your birthday doesn't count (neither do calories in your cake btw) - and so it was amassed. (Thanks again to Viv, Crystal and the MiL for the Loopy Ewe Certificates and yarn!)

This lovely "precious" is Estelle Yarns Cadenza... and THIS lovely "precious" is Estelle Yarns in Arequipa...

If I haven't said this formally- I will now... the yarn diet is ON.

No Loopy arrival yet- but there's that coming, with the promise of mitten (!!!!) yarn and a sweater pattern. With this blanket off the needles- and the freedom to knit what I want lingering- I can't wait to hit the ground running and get on with the stash diving!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I have a seriously bad case of stateritis.

In fact- it's running so wildly rampant through my veins right now, that I fear I may never recover.

Starteritis (start-er-i-tiss), for you non knitters out there (HI DAD!) is when the knitter is so inspired by the current batch of projects out there that they want to cast aside whatever they're knitting and start something new. This usually happens when you're slogging through a particular project that's lost it's luster.

My problem? I want to start about 10 things new.

My Ravelry queue is getting massive. I've put patterns that I fully intend to make in my Rav queue. We're up to 16 items now. SIXTEEN!!!! Nevermind that I only knit, (aside from hats) 18 projects last year. I've practically planned my knitting for the YEAR.

In between working, I kept switching over to my Stash page on Ravelry, (I love Ravely so much.... I don't say it enough), and looking at my stash. I LOVE MY STASH. I want to knit from my stash!!!!! I have great yarn! I'm ready to use it. I want to use it! GAH!!!!

I think this particular case of starteritis is due to 4 factors:

a) The Red Blanket of mystery is nearly at the end and it's not what I'd hoped. I hold on to blind faith (and denial) that it will work out and that when I lay it down for the first time I will love it and be proud and it will magically be beautiful. And yet there's this nagging voice in the back of my head that's warning me, scaring me, that I'll probably end up knitting another one that's more to my liking. The very thought of knitting another blanket is enough to send me into a fit of tears. Let's not discuss it further. (And no- I'm past the point of no return, I will not even entertain the idea of frogging it.)

b) I want to enter some projects into the Calgary Stampede Showcase this year. Deadline to do so is June 11. It's far enough now that I could be selective with the projects- but you and I both know that June 10 I'll be knitting like a MAD WOMAN trying to come in on the deadline.

c) I'll just say it. I have a lot of yarn right now. I'm scared to say that loudly- in case the husband (who is the only person I know who uses Ravelry for EVIL- and is monitoring my stash page) reads it and holds it over me. But, um, yeah. I bought a lot at Christmas, got a skein for Christmas, got a skein for my birthday and a bunch of Loopy Ewe money, which I may have already spent a portion of. (You'll not the days since I bought yarn has changed... we'll discuss that on the happy day the yarn arrives.) My stash and I need to make a commitment together. It needs to stay pretty and I need to still want to knit it. (Not a problem right now might I add.)

d) Mittens. The obssession continues. I'm trying not to cast on another pair. And yet-- my willpower has never been weaker.... OH MITTENS I LOVE YOU SO!!!

Since I am apparently so easily distracted, and since I won't allow a new cast on until the blanket project is over with- I'll tell you what I'd rather be making instead! (I've tried to use non-Ravelry links in most cases here so non members can see what I'm talking about too.)

1) The 28thirty sweater. I bought the yarn at the boxing day sale. I bought the pattern at Loopy Ewe this weekend. I'm hoping to have this just in time for a (cross your fingers) early spring. My new Silk Road Aran wants to be used- and this is the perfect project

2) The Lakeside knee socks. I knew one day I'd look at a pattern and say "this is worthy of the Wollmeise"- that time has come. My red wollmeise begs me to knit it up and this pattern is so, so, SOOO pretty.

3) The Noro Scarf. EVERYONE is doing it! And because I'm a lemming and would TOTALLY jump off Niagra Falls if all my friends were, I must make it too. And yes, before you lecture, the yarn is already in my stash-- I just have to cast on! (Except I can't... *sigh*)

4) Mr. Pitt's Socks. This is kind of a weird anomaly for me. These are plain jane, boring and easy. And yet I just want to cast them on. My dad's feet look cold. I have the yarn. WHO AM I TO LEAVE MY DAD'S FEET COLD!? What kind of knitter would I be?

5) Mittens. Oh Mittens I love thee. You give me joy on days when joy is hard to find. I want mittens for me. Mittens for my father-in-law. More Mittens for me. AND MORE mittens for me. And maybe mittens for my sister. Mittens are my crack knitting right now-- I want another hit!

Starteritis is a debilating disease with no known cure... except finishing a painfully boring project. Just looking up these links have weakened me further. Will I succumb? Will my deepest desires become realities? Stay tuned...

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Beginnings

It's a new year- and along with it, exciting new beginnings. With that in mind, I show you the baby blanket the husband and I patiently designed during our countdown to the new year. (Yes, I said husband- I was able to come up with the concept, but husband was the one with computer skills {and patience} to make the graph work out right.)

Would you believeI started knitting this on Friday?! I've made incredible progress. (Although let's give some of the credit to good ole stocking stitch!) But since this still looks like a big red blob... (and I'm not giving away what it will be until it's finished), this might be more interesting...

Those are the written out specs and detailed pattern instructions. (I may be planning on publishing this bad boy should there be any interest.) Incidently who ever guessed you could get so much out of a little gauge swatch? (And holy crap it's working too- so far it's knitting to gauge!)

Even though I'm both relieved and happy to work on this blanket and just get it off my back already-- nothing can make me happier today than this. Is there any better cure to a Monday, back from a long vacation, than new yarn? I think not!

Viola- Dream in Color's BUTTER PEEPS... after much yearning for it, the husband surprised me with this for Christmas from the glorious Loopy Ewe. After a long Monday seeing the Loopy package in my inbox was just what I needed to perk me back up again. I love getting Looy Ewe packages so much. (It was probably a good thing there was no one in my foyer, because I also did my little Loopy dance, which resembles Snoopy's first spring dance, where I jump up and down and clutch the happy little package to my chest. Sheri makes every package a joy to open- always with little extras-- just to make your package much more exciting. (I must learn to not rip into the package immediately and snap photos so you can see how lovingly she packs everything up!)

And so with my new yarn and new blanket- I feel like I'm ready to tackle the new knitting year off with a bang.

Now... if only I could buy more mitten yarn....