Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ice Queen

The Ice Queen is finished and we are getting a nice layer of ice on Scituate Pond. We'll be skating soon, hopefully. Our earliest skate date is December 8th. We might beat it this year. Here's hoping that the snow holds off for a long time. I did the garter stitch version with Kidsilk Spray. I have a set of interchangeable crochet hooks that I inherited from my mother, maybe grandmother. It was perfect for adding the beads as I knit. I don't think I would have used beads if I had to string 300 of them before casting on. Now I have to decide who to give it to!
I'm working on several projects, some for Christmas and some for my own pleasure. I finished the two secret projects I was working on, and will be able to add pictures in a couple of weeks. Will be starting a couple of string shopping bags for gifts. They should be quick to knit and something the recipients will use.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

3 Day Weekend

We got up early this morning to canoe on the pond. Kenny was taking lots of pictures of the color, I knit and leaf peeped. It was a gorgeous morning. Made me wish I was knitting with orange instead of the black socks I'm working on.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Clearing the Needles

I'm tired of seeing the same WIP projects on my Ravelry project page. So I'm declaring August to be the month to clear the needles. I'd love to start something new, but I'm really trying hold off the urge and stick to this plan.
I did finish my second Laminaria shawl on July 28. A quick knit, started on July 10. I was pretty monogomous on this one. I absolutely love the way it turned out. Can't wait, but I will, to knit another shawl with J. Knits Lace-A-Licious.
Today I finished the main part, no thumb yet, of the right hand Chevalier Mitten.
I was knitting outside and the colors of the VAA Malabrigo are just as verdant as the woods and pond around me. Variations in green and splashes of blue for the sky and water. I really enjoyed getting back to this project. Cast on for the left right away, I'll do both thumbs at the end. These will be a Christmas present for someone, not sure who yet.
The Priscilla's Dream socks, from Favorite Socks, are into the final stretch. I turned the heels yesterday. Interesting toe. Short rows, just the same as the heel, and the seam is at the top of the foot.
I'm anxious to see how they turn out. There is no Sock Knitters Anonymous sockdown challenge for August, thankfully. This pair was part of the June challenge, obviously I didn't make it. I've got this month to finish them and the Bayerische socks that I started in February! I'm hoping that working on the cables of the Chevalier mittens will psyche me up for the cables of Bayerische.
The Lace Ribbon Scarf is gradually growing. I wouldn't say I'm bored with it, but 80 inches is a lot of knitting of the same pattern. I certainly have it memorized. I don't remember the Montego Bay scarves taking this long, but I was probably more monogomous with them and they moved along quicker.
So that's the list for August. I am knitting a swatch of the Berocco Ultra Alpaca for K's Cobblestone, but I'm not casting on yet. Also...I'm going to reknit the button band of my Central Park Hoodie, it's too floppy, and put a new/contrasting neckband on one of K's guernsey sweaters that we bought 23 years ago. It's amazing that the rest of the sweater is in perfect condition, and he wears it a lot.
There are some incredible temptations out there however. I bought several books from Knit Picks (their 40% off sale is a great deal), ordered a couple of DVDs from Lucy Neatby (she actually answered the phone!), the new Rowan magazine arrived (pure porn), and today Twist Collective opened up (fantastic!!!).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bee Fields Decision

This is one of those decisions that knitters have to make. It's similar to "do I frog back or can I live with this?" but this one is "do I stop now or do I go for the larger size?"
I'm at row 30 in the bee in the field chart of Anne Hanson's Bee Fields Shawl. This is the point where you can stop and knit the final 13 rows for the petite size. Thankfully the amount of yarn is not an issue. I'm using Lisa Souza fingering wool in the jonquil colorway, 1785 yards. The tall version of Bee Fields requires 1100 yards. Although I would love to finish this shawl in 13 rows, I think the shawl really needs a wider section to look proportionally correct. The size of the petite is better for me, but I know I wouldn't be satisfied with the finished piece. I love the look of this motif, the bees with their wings open, it begs to be knit in full with an extra 18 rows of this section. I don't have to block it to the full dimensions.
So I've reset my spreadsheet, and instead of 85% complete I'm back to 75%. But I have a better chance at being 100% happy with the finished shawl.
As I've been knitting this shawl, and others, like Laminaria, I'm considering how I would design a shawl for myself. Both of these designers are incredibly talented and I worship at their alters, but I'd love to have a shawl with a more "mashed up" transition between the motifs, so one would be integrated into the next over many rows, not leaving a "line" (literal or visual) between sections. In Pink Lemon Twist's Hanami shawl, she has a beautiful transition to the cherry blossoms. Maybe that should go into my queue. Chrissy is going to start a lace stole KAL on her Manic Purl podcast. She has knit a beautiful Hanami. It's very tempting...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Finished Bag!

I started the French Market Bag last July with the purpose of using up stash. I have kept it as my "mindless" knitting project, so I guess I don't have a lot of time for truly mindless knitting or it would have been finished a long time ago. I have a fair amount of Lopi and knew it would felt well after testing it on a felted bowl from One Skein. I had no idea what I would use the finished bag for. It doesn't close so I wouldn't be good for yarn-too easy for cats to rob the contents.
Yesterday I was standing in front of my front loader remembering that I had read somewhere that white Lopi may not felt, something to do with the bleaching process. Did I knit a swatch and test this theory? Of course not. Crossing my fingers I hoped for the best. The bag had looked totally ridiculous going in to the washer. Huge, floppy, and a shape like the nose of an airplane. After about four wash cycles with a couple of pairs of jeans I took a deep breath and checked, all was well! Miraculously, the bag felted beautifully (even the white). Felting wool and blocking lace have to be the two greatest transformations for knitters. The bag is sturdy and most of the water had spun out. Gracie immediately jumped in, not bothered by the dampness in the least. She even matches the colors. Now I know what it will be used for.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer List

I read Noolie's post and followed her link to Ali's blog Skeins Her Way where a contest is starting. Gave me a good reason to put my list together. I'm feeling ambitious.
  1. Finish Beefields shawl √
  2. Make a Laminaria gift shawl √
  3. Finish Bayerische socks
  4. Make Priscilla's Dream Socks from Favorite Socks (June Sockdown)
  5. Make some Charlene Schurch socks (July sockdown)
  6. Finish French Market Bag √
  7. Finish Chevalier Mittens
  8. Redo buttonband on my CPH
  9. Cobblestone for husband
  10. To be determined sweater for me (I have a long list of options)
  11. Fix neck on husband's guernsey
  12. Gift knitting...scarves, mitts, market bags, etc.
  13. No yarn purchases, knit from stash
  14. At least one other shawl (maybe the KAL at Manic Purl)
  15. Finish Lace Ribbon Scarf
  16. Dye some of the bare yarn I have
  17. Update blog on regular basis
  18. Ice Queen
  19. Mrs Beeton's

Summer Plans

I decided to change my blog name. Scituate Knitter is now ME Knit. I needed a change to give me a push to post on a more regular basis! Hope this works.
School is almost out! Although I have some courses and other professional plans lined up, I'm also planning my knitting and already feeling pressed for time! I have the Beefields shawl about 50% finished (I know this thanks to a handy spreadsheet I downloaded) and want to start a second Laminaria shawl to give as a gift. Sweaters for me, socks, finishing some UFOs, gifts, and a Cobblestone for Kenny.
We are not traveling for any extended vacations this summer. The cost of travel and the need to rebuild our coffers is keeping us happily in Maine. We have a weekend planned in Monhegan with friends and a couple of weekends with family in the northeast. Very manageable. I think the garden will be the best it's been in years because we'll be around to take care of it. We are already enjoying a great crop of lettuce. I'm also going to set up a regular posting schedule for this blog, although I'm not sure what that will be.
I'm enjoying a new podcast, The Manic Purl. Chrissy is podcasting from Vancouver, B.C. (we loved that city when we did a trip through that area 10 years ago) and she has a great mix of chat, info, reviews, and knitting updates. It's great to have a new podcast that I enjoy this much!
I did knit in public yesterday, but not with a planned meet up. I was waiting for Spinning Yarns, in Dover, NH to open and worked on the Beefields while I had a cup of coffee. I've been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's latest book, as well as listening to many of the interviews she has done on podcasts lately. I'm wishing that she would write and essay for the This I Believe... project on NPR.