Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Heart You, Shawl Patterns

"Cast on 3 stitches."  I'm in love.

Just cast on the Ishbel shawl by Ysolda Teague.  (Ravelry Link)

This is the rest of the Scottish Yarn, an angora/lambswool blend and it is even more bright green than pictured and soooooo super soft.

A Scottish Hat

So, my BFF went to Scotland donkey's years ago, and brought me two luscious skeins of Scottish yarn.  I kept trying to make something with the first skein, and nothing was turning out right, so I kept frogging it and setting it aside.  I finally decided to try the Foliage Hat from Knitty, and it worked!  It's a tad big for my tiny noggin, but still cozy.  And it was super quick to knit.

It was a hard color to photograph, but it's closest to this unworn picture - a nice deep purple.

Pattern: Foliage (Emilee Mooney), Knitty Fall 2007

Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Marl, color - amethyst

Needles: Harmony interchangeable circulars - US sizes 9 & 10.5
Ravelry Link

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What's So "Magic" About Magic Loop?

Magic Loop.  For a long time I've avoided it.  Who knows why - perhaps it was my strong double pointed needle pride (I mean, come on - it's impressive to knit with FIVE needles at once!), perhaps it was that I couldn't quite visualize how it was supposed to work, or (most likely) perhaps it was just that I didn't have the proper needles.

So when the time came to buy a circular needle with a cable long enough for my up and coming sweater, I decided to give it a try.  I'm currently waiting on the yarn for the sweater and had to Knit Something Right Now to avoid obsessing over the sweater. My mom requested a pair of Fetching, and as it is my favorite instant gratification knit, I decided to use it as an opportunity to learn Magic Loop.  So, with scraps of Cascade 220 from my brother's hat, and my shiny new Addi Natura Size 8/5mm 40 inch circular, I went to work.  (Of course, I ran out of yarn pre-thumb on the second mit, so now I need to get more.)

At first, it was a little fiddly, what with the cables smacking me in the arms, but once I got the hang of it, I can see why people like it.  There aren't as many opportunities for ladders, you only have to adjust your hands and needles once per round instead of thrice, and it does look pretty nifty.

I think in the future, I'll probably alternate between DPNs and magic loop.  It's good to have an ever-expanding arsenal of technique.  And I've already ordered sock sized circulars with loooooong cables because next I'm going to try 2 socks at once on one circular in an attempt to avoid the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Husband's Christmas (in January) Socks

The Husband, because he is awesome, understands that I get in a yarn frenzy pre-Christmas and was content to receive a ball of sock yarn in his stocking, knowing it would become socks.  And it did!

And they fit!

Pattern: Harris Tweed Socks, Ali Green
(Sort of.  For the first sock, I misread the pattern as "Rows 1,3: k2p2; Rows 2,4 k all stitches" instead of "Rows 1,2: k2p2; Rows 3,4 k all stitches," so I had to keep that up for the second sock.  Whatever, they still look fine.)
Yarn: Berroco Sox
Needles: US 1 1/2 / 2.5mm Harmony DPNs
Ravelry link

2009 Highlights

2009 was a busy year in the world of my knitting.

I knit (knitted? past tense is tricky) my first pair of socks just before New Year's Day 2009, and my current sock count is now 6 1/4 pairs (one pair is, of course, on the needles - one must always have a pair of socks on one's needles), and there are quite a few pairs in my mental cue that I Just Have to Make Right Now, and every time I visit a yarn store, I have to recite the mantra "I don't need more sock yarn, I don't need more sock yarn..." and then I always wander over to the sock yarn just to tease myself.

I also discovered shawls, lace knitting, and the Magical World of Blocking this year. Lace shawls are a thing of beauty because: A) Well, they're beautiful; and B) They are deceptively simple to execute; which C) Makes you look like some sort of knitting rock star.

I felted for the first time in my Christmas knitting frenzy, and it's awesome! You knit something big and floppy and then put it in the washer and then it's small and awesome! Seriously.

I also now understand the obsession with Malabrigo (it's like knitting a cloud), Noro (I am hypnotized every time), and Knit Picks' Harmony needles, and am beginning to go to Cascade 220 as my standard workhorse yarn (sorry, Jo Ann fabrics, but I'm becoming a fiber snob. So much so, that I just typed "fibre.").

Anywho, let's take a look back in a photo-heavy blog post at some of 2009's creations.

Here's a present I made for the baby girl of some friends of mine. Aren't they the cutest?

They are adorable long toed booties...

Then fold up into tulips!

Pattern: Tulip Toes (Cathy Campaigne), Knitty Summer 2006

Socks, oh, socks. I love you.

Lace + Socks = super happy fun time

: Baudelaire (by Cookie A, my sock hero), Knitty Summer 2006

Here's a shawl I knit for my G-ma for her 93rd birthday. It was my first shawl, and first large lace project.

Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl, Susan Lawrence

Next we have a gratuitous pair of Fetching made in preparation for a trip to Alaska. My first time working with Malabrigo, and I wanted to make a bed out of it and roll around in it.

Pattern: Fetching (Cheryl Niamath), Knitty Summer 2006 (it was a good issue, okay?)

Here's a shawl for me!

Pattern: Springtime Bandit, Katie Gagnon Osborn

Here are socks I made for my mom for her birthday. They were almost too small, but not enough that I got to keep them. Lace AND cables? That's insane.

Pattern: Absinthe (Sara Morris), Knitty Spring 2009

The Husband and I celebrated our 1st anniversary in October. Because the first anniversary is paper, I made him an origami heart:

And because we both love penguins, I crocheted an amigurumi penguin that ended up looking like Mr. T because I was using scrap yarn and the dark purple was extra fluffy.

I made him a lei because we honeymooned on Maui.

Pattern: Penguin Amigurumi found in Women's Day, apparently. Link

Noro Stripey Socks! They're my fave.

Pattern: Noro Stripey Socks, Faith AD (of the Needle and the Damage Done)

It's Christmas time!

For my brother, a pair of fingerless mits

: Dashing (Cheryl Niamath), Knitty Spring 2007

And a hat

Pattern: Trilobite (Hannah Ingalls), Knitty Summer 2009

For G-ma, some felted slippers!


Pattern: Felted Slipper, Midnattsol

For my BFF, a noro scarf!

Pattern: 1x1 rib, repeat until done with alternating balls of 1 skein of Noro Kureyon

And for my aunts, more Noro scarves!

Pattern: Improvised crochet - alternating rows of single and half-double crochet until the ball was done. Then added kicky buttons.

Finally, for my mom, a shawl (that I loooove) made with yarn I bought in Alaska.

Pattern: Aeolian Shawl (Elizabeth Freeman), Knitty Spring 2009

The Husband's Christmas in January socks will get a special post.