FO: calorimetry.

blackberry pancakes

In order to face the week, I needed blackberry pancakes. (Mondays can be tough!) I ate them for breakfast and lunch, and they helped, like they always do. Moving on…

five plum pie calorimetry

I knit this over the weekend for my friend H. (of wedding shawl fame) because tomorrow is her birthday! I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I gifted this yesterday, which means there is absolutely no danger of spoiling the surprise. I used more of my Hello Yarn Five Plum Pie handspun, and I still have about ten yards leftover — truly, a never-ending skein.

calorimetry button view

Calorimetry was one of the first patterns I attempted to knit — and while I finished it rather quickly, my skein of filatura di crosa 127 print (or whatever the pattern calls for, because I had not yet learned to substitute) won the day, and I finally understood why gauge matters. My first calorimetry was enormous! This time around, I read up on the pattern and followed some common modifications:

I cast on 88 stitches using size 6 needles, and worked only as many (decreasing stitch count) short rows as seemed like half of the width I was hoping for, and then completed the same number of (increasing stitch count) short rows to get to the other side, being careful not to run out of yarn.

calorimetry side

Yay! I tried this on to take some pictures, and now that my hair is longer, I really like this. I may need to make one for myself.

plied polwarth bw

I did manage to ply the polwarth. Here’s what it looks like before washing/thwacking:

prewash

This may be the softest, squishiest yarn I have ever spun. It is hanging to dry in the kitchen, and I can’t help but pet it each time I walk by.

superherohelmet1

In keeping with “hat-tober,” I cast on for yet another handspun hat — Cosy’s Super Hero Helmet Hat. I won the pattern on her blog a few weeks ago, and I am knitting it out of some of my earlier wheelspun: AVFKW Woolly Wonders corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame. I’m using size 10.5 needles, and I love the squoosh of the garter stitch.

bohcouchsilly

Apparently Boh also had a very busy day. (While I read, wrote, cleaned, knit, plied, grocery-shopped, cooked, etc., Boh moved bones back and forth from his box, growled at the electrician through the window, took notes on squirrel movement, and perhaps dreamed of rabbits, chipmunks, and deer.)

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many moons.

A year ago, I began Thermal. It was to be my first sweater, and I was very excited. I ordered the recommended yarn (KnitPicks Gloss) and printed out the pattern. As I was still a new knitter, I was sort of afraid of color. I’ve since broken myself of that (see bright green Bolero Jacket for proof), but I remember struggling with the color decision. I eventually concluded that I would be most likely to wear my first sweater if it was black. I’m sure you’re all cringing because you already know what I failed to realize: knitting a sweater in fingering weight black yarn is akin to poking yourself in the eye repeatedly.

Enter my progress:

A tangled skein and several errors in knitting direction resulting in ripping and starting again (I didn’t quite get that it is easy to tell which way you are going). I have a solid inch of the twisted ribbed bottom hem of the sweater. And you know what? The knitting is even, and quite pretty! I am going to keep this one handy, and perhaps in small doses, I can make progress on the black fingering weight sweater. (You know, even though I am more willing to play with color now, I will get a lot of use out of a black Thermal — if I can finish it, that is.)

My 1824 Blouson met a different fate last night. I have beautiful yarn for this project, and I love the shape of the sweater, but I fear all those dressmaker finishing details AND the 4 inches of the back I discovered in a knitting bag tucked away were not as pretty as I am capable of. My now-discerning eye was drawn to a scattering of small errors in the knitting, and I found no evidence of a gauge swatch. Ribbit! I still love the idea of this sweater, and am hoping to make something similar. Ideas?

Also, to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome, I cast on Super Simple Short Sock #2 last night.

I posted my bed on craigslist on Sunday and sold it yesterday during my lunch break. Making progress over here! Time to go rent a storage unit so that I can begin clearing these boxes out of my tiny house…

pinwheels and a new project

First of all, whoa! WordPress got fancy! (Overnight! This may take some getting used to.) Second, look at my pinwheel! Binding off 430 st took forever, as in, I had to call a friend to apologize for my lateness and explain that I was still casting off…

I really like this — which is good, because I am planning on making several. I followed the pattern exactly for this first pinwheel, and it only required about 2.5 skeins of Cascade 220. I think the size is just right for a cozy lap or reading blanket — perfect for the intended recipients. If you look closely at this picture of the center of the pinwheel, you’ll notice that it isn’t perfect: seems that when I switched from DPNs to the circular needle, I screwed up a YO or two. I realized this a few inches later, and a moment before I began ripping back, I decided against it. You see, this blanket is a wedding gift for a historian-to-be and his fiance.  They are new friends, and hopefully folks I will spend more time getting to know in New Home. This new friend and I spent a lot of time talking about scholarly processes, in a range of contexts. What better gift than a blanket with a few quirks? After all, marriage is process-oriented! These small “mistakes” will provide me with an entry point to write a little love note along these lines. Boh thinks so too.

He looks particularly worried, likely because he isn’t sure if we should block this to maintain the swirl of the pinwheel or if we should straighten it out. Life is rough when you have these kinds of things on your mind. Boh is also thinking about the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the most recent Knitty.

A friend had this on her dining room table yesterday, and a closer look revealed that this pattern is intended for sock yarn! I have been trying to figure out what to do with my February booty from the Yarn Pirate — gorgeous colors, but not really for me. Seems that the stars are aligned — or at least Knitty is aligned with my calendar of friends’ birthdays…

Alright — the sun is fully up, and it is time to get on with the day: long overdue breakfast date, rugby practice, dog play date, yarn shop outing…and then margaritas?

Ahh, Saturday.

take 2

Quick post this morning, as Boh and I are heading to a favorite place for the day (for work!). We’ll be back tomorrow. I did not take my own advice this weekend, and settled down with foliage and my first cup of coffee on Saturday morning. An hour later, I realized that somewhere I had screwed up the leaf lace pattern, and even after undoing, one stitch at a time, multiple rows, I couldn’t find the error. I think this hat is for me, and I don’t want to feel that tinge of guilt when I wear it (you know the one), so I ripped the whole thing out, rewound the yarn, and put it aside.

Last night, fully caffeinated and in need of some procrastination-enabling, I picked it up again. Take 2:

take-2.jpg

Oops — you can’t see the knitting. Just Boh’s response to my perfectionist tendencies. Let’s back up:

take-2-full.jpg

I am just a bit farther along than I was when I decided to rip it out, and I am glad I did. So is Boh, though you’d never know it from his expression/the position of those ears!

Mom’s Montego is coming along, slowly but surely. More soon!

clap your hands for so-called foliage!

Yes, that’s right. I’m still only about a third of the way through the first cup of coffee on this fine Monday morning, and I’m trying to make sentences out of my current WIP names. I was hoping for natural light, but it is overcast and I am impatient. Bear with the gloomy photographs.

As my incredibly creative sentence indicates, I have, indeed, cast on for Clapotis. You know where to find it.

clap.jpg

I cast on for this (multiple times) a bit more than a week ago, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do a pfb. Knittinghelp.com to the rescue! I wanted to keep this one quiet until I was sure I was ready for the pattern, but I am past the set up rows and into the increase section.

clap-2.jpg

Also, you know I’ve been working on my second My So Called Scarf from Sheep in the City (Ravelry link – coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.) This is sort of hard to photograph because it is so dark. Also, I chose a less variegated Malabrigo, and I am really liking this. Originally, I thought I would keep this for me, but now I am not so sure. I am only about halfway through the first skein, and I have thought about making a shorter “tucker” scarf. Do we think this colorway/pattern is appropriate for/would be willingly worn by boys? Discuss.

my-so-called-scarf.jpg

Lastly, another WIP I am super excited about — also in Malabrigo: Foliage! (Ravelry link) I bought this yarn at Loop when I was in Philadelphia in September, intending to cast on immediately. I tried to — really, I did. I just couldn’t join 8 stitches in the round without twisting them or getting confused about which side of the needle was next because it was such a small loop. I must have worked and reworked the first two rows, trying to get them right, for an hour one evening. Broken, I set it aside for another day. Picked this up yesterday and cast on without a problem. I’ll take it! I’ve completed the first 19 rows for Version 2, and am ready to begin the pattern.

foliage.jpg

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I am in love with Malabrigo. Sigh.

Time to go face Monday. What did you work on this weekend?

early morning crowing

rooster-and-boh.jpg

Mornin’ folks. There are multiple roosters crowing outside my window right now. Seriously. The sun is not quite high enough in the sky yet to allow me to take pretty pictures of the Baby Bib O’ Love I started (you know, the kind where the light streams through the window), so bear with me. The bib is done, minus a button. Pictures soon.

In other news, in honor of the Fall Fingerless Mitts KAL, I present to you Dashing, from knitty, intended for my brother, who spends a lot of time both training other people’s dogs and playing with his own adorable pitbull. I made these in Jo Sharp Silk Road DK Tweed (found on sale at my LYS) using size 7 needles.

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dashing-2.jpg

I worry that they may be a bit tight, as I don’t have a good sense of how big around his forearm is, but they should be okay. Confession: midway through the second mitt, I said to myself, “I remember what I’m supposed to do on this cable row. No need to look at the pattern, Rooster.” A row before bind-off, it became clear that my second mitt did not have offset cables. Instead, they were all in the same column. Rip, rip, rip. These aren’t quite done yet — one more thumb to pick up, but they are a holiday gift, so I have a false sense of being in good shape for gift-giving. This is the first holiday season that I have been a knitter (well, since that unfinished scratchy scarf turned potholder my grandmother helped me on), and I’m not quite sure what folks are expecting. What are you giving as knitted gifts? Are you making ten of something, or choosing individualized patterns for the people in your life?

victory (for jonny wilkinson, and for me)

but in vastly different things. Wilkinson managed to lead England to a victory over France in today’s World Cup Rugby match. It was a low scoring, frustrating game to watch. Both sides had brilliant moments, but each had a hard time finishing. I’m by no means a hardcore England fan, but I do think that Wilkinson is one of the most handsome men in world-class rugby…

My victory is much smaller: I’ve figured out how to format photos so they look pretty when I press “publish” here at wordpress. Because my entry point into this community (which, on day one, is still very one-sided and awkward-feeling) is knitting, it seems only fitting to share a bit.

Here is Fetching, from Knitty. This project made me feel like a Knitter (capital K). Directions were easy to follow, and the payoff was close to immediate. I remember taking this to a coffee shop and just knitting row after row, happy as a clam to be displaying my newfound addiction. (Coffee is my first, though I prefer to think about my coffee intake as directly proportionate to my personal happiness level. It has nothing to do with caffeine. That is bad for you. Happiness, on the other hand, cannot be bad.) Back to Fetching.

fetching WIP

I don’t have any pictures of the finished object, but these were on my wrists every morning this summer as I watched the sunrise, hands clasped around a delicious cup of coffee on the back porch. Early risers get press-pot coffee. Late risers get cowboy coffee. Sadly, Boh (who is both snoring AND dreaming right now) managed to grab one and gnaw apart the bind off and a few rows of my hard work, so they are in the “learn to repair” pile. As a relatively new knitter, I have a burgeoning love affair with color. There is definitely a bright pair of Fetching in my future.

Here is a pair I made on request for a friend. (Yarn for both: as recommended, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, needles: US 6) This pair went even faster! See Pam model:

fetching pam

Discovering Knitty was a momentous occasion — I think I looked at every single pattern, including Calorimetry, which blew me away. The concept is cool, and I remembering thinking I might actually wear it, but that wasn’t it. The model in the pictures — I know her! From college! What was she doing, here in the internet pages of my brand new, all consuming addiction? Apparently, a lot of people knit. Or know people who knit. That made it feel even more accessible. (I did, actually, make Calorimetry, but was lazy and did not swatch. I know, I’ve learned my lesson. It is very pretty, but also just a bit too large. It may work as a neck warmer. I will be making another, maybe in Malabrigo — saw the one over at tentenknits and it is beautiful. I have my first skein, which is destined to be Foliage, from the Fall Knitty, but right now I just get it out and touch it.)

One more Knitty picture: Manresa. These leg warmers are awesome. I am still surprised that I just decided I could make these. I started them right after Fetching, a week into learning. Most of my summer knitting was happening by headlamp, in my sleeping bag, so I decided to leave the chart and colorwork here in my teeny tiny house. The last time I snapped a picture, here’s where I was. Fall is finally here, and these will be very toasty when I finish them. I should pick them up again.

manresa WIP

That’s all for now — I have to save a few pictures for when I run out of things to tell you all!