Saturday, May 22, 2010

Technical difficulties...

...or maybe operator error? :}

Back a few months ago, I'd put the blog on moderated for comments. Then after a while I changed settings and reactivated comments. In that mean time, I thought it odd no comments at all came in.

Well. Yeah. I just noticed today that there WERE a bunch of comments from that time. I just never saw the notification about them. Comments usually come into my e-mail and I assumed they'd still do that on moderated. Well, they didn't, but there was a little note in my dashboard saying "X messages waiting for approval." I never saw that note until today. No idea how I missed it.

So, better late than never, right? I went in and tried to approve them only to accidentally delete half of them (I think...I'm not even sure about that.)

At any rate, if you left a comment for me in the past few months and I never replied, please don't take it personally. Chances are I didn't even know it was there! I do appreciate comments from my readers, and I really do try to reply to them all, either directly (if I have your e-mail address) or in the comments themselves. Sorry for the confusion!

Friday, May 21, 2010

And we have pictures...

The new monitor arrived earlier this week (yeay!), so now I'm playing catch up with my knit-related photography of recent (and some less recent but as-of-yet unphotographed) FOs. I'll let the photos speak (mostly) for themselves in this post and link to my Ravelry project pages for the details.

First, the Autumn shawl done in Jojoland Rhythm yarn, colorway M09.

This was an incredibly fun project to do. One of my most favorite in recent history. I love entrelac. It never gets boring to me, especially using a yarn like this. And the cobweb frill edging...while casting on over 300 stitches was daunting, it worked up quickly, and I love how it looks.

 And it is WARM. Don't think I'll be wrapping up in it much this summer (it was 70 degrees in the shade the day we took these pictures...yikes! I was sweating!), but it will be most cozy on a cool autumn night.

 Aren't the colors fantastic?
While I've got all my notes on my Rav page for this, I just want to point out a couple of things for anyone wanting to make this, because they are mentioned in a lot of notes about this shawl. First, many people find 10 balls is not enough. It is close, and probably depends on who tightly you knit. I chose to omit the last row of ribbing on the edging just to be sure I'd have enough to bind off and stitch the edging onto the shawl. I had about seven yards of yarn left over. I might have been able to eke out that last row, but I was happy to have not had the worry. (Whew!) Also, I read comments where people said the edging wasn't nearly long enough to attach to the whole edge of the shawl. Dude, this edging is stretchy...again, I had no problem. I wonder, though, if some people maybe blocked the shawl before attaching the edging? That might cause the problem. I attached then blocked the whole thing and it worked great.

Next, the Traveling Woman shawl, done in Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in the Moss colorway...

 I am so enjoying lace patterns this year! This one was quite simple. It took me only six days to knit.

I made it a little larger by adding one extra repeat of Chart A. Note that the points along the edge were pointier when it was first blocked, but this picture was taken after I'd used it several times, so they aren't as pronounced now.
 As it is, it makes a nice little shoulder wrap. It went to Spring Fling with me where it was in the company of several other pretty Traveling Womans, er, Women?

Next, my A Little Jazz scarf/shawlette, knit in Fiesta Yarns Baby Boom. This was the March TLE Sock Club colorway, and the pattern was the non-sock pattern that came in the kit.

It was a really fast knit. I started it at the airport on my way to St. Louis and finished it the second night I was there. Not sure how much use I'll get from it, but it is kinda cute. I mainly chose to make it out of a desire to have mindless knitting to work on at Fling.

Alrighty...going into the "way back" machine, so to speak, these are projects that I finished months ago and only finally got blocked and photographed.

First, a Crofter's Cowl in Cascade 220 Superwash (not sure of the color)...

 This was originally going to be a Christmas gift last year. Um, yeah. Maybe this year? :}

And last, the Marian Seaman Scarf that I test knit for Cosy a few months ago. I made mine out of Jo Sharp 8 Ply DK Pure Wool in the Heron colorway. I'm not sure if this yarn is still being produced (it was in my stash from when I worked at the yarn shop), but it was really lovely to work with. 

 I love how it is designed with ribbing at the center section so that it just hugs you. And it is quite wide too, which makes it warm and very nice to cuddle into (or at least it would be in the winter...again, it was 70 degrees when we were doing these pictures...Emma was so kind to humor me, wardrobe changes and all!).

 And one last picture of my pretty girl, just because...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eagerly awaiting...

...the arrival of my NEW MONITOR! Yes! Should be here on Thursday! Can! Not! Wait!

That is all! Carry on!

(This may be the only post I've ever made where my only end punctuation has been exclamation points! Hahaha!)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A new challenge...

Part of what I love about knitting is that there is always some new technique or skill to learn, some new way to challenge myself. My latest challenge comes in the form of a pair of colorwork socks -- the Norwegian Rose pattern from Wendy Johnson's latest book, Toe Up Socks for Every Body.

Apologies again for yet another crappy photo...still without a monitor at the desktop so this is just a camera phone photo.

I'm not too far along, only one chart repeat in on the first sock, but this is my second go at it, as I started out using less-than-pleasing yarn and decided these socks would be way too labor intensive to knit using a fiber I wasn't wild about. Thus, I'm now using Sanguine Gryphon's Skinny Bugga in Tomato Frog for the base color and Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Pumpkin King for the contrast. Must, much happier with this combo!

My only other experience with colorwork socks was a pair of pirate socks I made for Chris a couple years ago. They did not turn out great...I was new to stranding, and they were tight and unforgiving in fit. Thus, I haven't felt overly compelled to try it again until now, thanks to Leslie and Laura -- The Knit Girllls -- who started a KAL for this sock pattern. (The KAL info is in a thread on their Rav group, which is linked on the right hand side of their website if you're interested.) Who can resist something like that? (By the way, if you haven't discovered their videocast, go now and check it out! I love these girls...they're so much fun!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tough choices... do you post NO photos or CRAPPY photos? Today, I'm erring toward the latter, since I'm tired of not blogging since I still haven't bought a new monitor to do photo editing to post good photos...

This is the first bit of a Shetland Triangle Lace Shawl using the Femme Fatale Wollmeise we got in our TLE Spring Fling goodie bags. The color is really an intense red/burgundy/burnt orange colorway, which is hardly discernible in this photo from my camera. But let's not focus on the crappy photo, 'kay? Let's focus on the project. Another shawl! This will be my 6th one this year. Now, note if I'd have decided to participate in a shawl-a-month challenge, I'd never do it. So, I'll just keep on doing my shawl thing and not consider it a challenge.

I will say that I managed to totally get about 1/3 of my wound ball of Wollmeise tangled into a huge mess. No idea how. Took a good 20 minutes to get it straightened out. LOL But it's good now. 

This pattern has been in my Rav queue for ages. It's a lace knitting pattern (all purl WS rows, as opposed to knitted lace, which has patterning on both RS and WS rows, as per Anne Hanson's description in her advanced lace class), which makes it move along quite quickly. I don't know if it is truly just an intuitive pattern or if I'm getting better at reading lace as I work it, but it's going really well and seems pretty easy so far. 

I finished up my Autumn Shawl -- the entrelac project I started late last year. The cobweb frill edging looks really cool. I still need to block it and then I'll take pictures (hopefully good pictures) and post them. 

I'm trying really hard to not have more than a couple active projects going at a time. I've never been much of a monogamous knitter, but I'm finding I want very much to actually FINISH projects...and that happens easier when I'm not working on a dozen things at once. So, I've got the shawl going and a second sock (toe up, I'm slowed down at the heel because I have yet to truly grasp the construction of a heel flap when I'm going toe up). And when I finally finish that sock, I'm thinking I'll move on to my Vesper socks, that I plan to do toe up and with an afterthought heel, which I've not done before. 

So, that's what's happening here! In non-knitting news...we are thiiiiiiis close to being done with our school year. Can. Not. Wait. to be done this year. Really ready for summer break! It looks like we're going to be playing musical bedrooms soon, too. I agreed to let the boy child move to the basement bedroom, which is currently my office/craft room. And THAT means I get to move my room up here to the main floor...where I'll have windows! Woo! I have to somehow convince him that he does not want his room painted black, though. It's a basement room. Seriously? It'll be a cave in black. I told him he'll start to look like Gollum. So, we're negotiating. Stay tuned. :}

Monday, May 3, 2010

Um, hi...

...yes, I remembered that I have a blog. And I apologize now because this is not going to be a "real" blog post. It's just me popping in to acknowledge my blog posting lameness of late. In my defense? It's been a busy season. Much like last spring, I've been traveling a lot and still have a couple more trips to come between now and early June. There were fights out near Harrisburg a few weekends ago, then there was Spring Fling in St. Louis two weekends ago. No travel this weekend, but I did have a lot going on here at home, so I feel like I wasn't here much. This week will be another trip out to Harrisburg -- this time for the annual homeschool convention. And then the kids and I will be heading south to visit my mom in Florida for 9 days over Memorial Day.

My house is a sty. I feel like I'm behind on everything from laundry to paper work. And my desktop's flat screen monitor died a couple weeks ago and I haven't had time to shop for a new one. Thus, I haven't been able to do any photo-editing because that's where I do it. One day I will get caught up. And I'll have pictures, too! I have finished objects to share, honest! Just be patient with me, ok? :}